In Burma, the junta continues to attack Aung San Suu Kyi. The former leader was sentenced on Wednesday to an additional five years in prison during a river trial, denounced as political by the international community.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner, who had already been sentenced in recent months to six years in prison, was sentenced this time under the anti-corruption law. “She remains under house arrest. I don’t know if she asked to appeal,” junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun said.
Targeted by a multitude of offenses
In good health according to a source familiar with the matter interviewed earlier this week, Aung San Suu Kyi, 76, has been detained since the military coup of February 1, 2021 which ended a decade of democratic transition in Burma . She is targeted by a multitude of offenses (violation of a law on state secrets dating from the colonial era, electoral fraud, sedition, corruption, etc.) and risks decades in prison in total.
In this part, the military regime accuses him of having received 600,000 dollars and more than eleven kilos of gold in bribes from the former minister in charge of the Rangoon region, Phyo Min Thein. The latter testified in court, claiming to have paid him the gold and silver in exchange for his support. Aung San Suu Kyi, for her part, rejected these allegations. This is the first corruption case brought against the former leader. In all, a dozen counts of corruption have been brought against her.
The Nobel laureate is serving the beginning of her sentence under house arrest, in the place where she has been held incommunicado for more than a year and where she must remain for the duration of her trial. The latter is being held behind closed doors in the capital Naypyidaw, his lawyers being prohibited from speaking to the press and international organizations.
Repressions against relatives of the Nobel Prize winner
Many international observers have denounced this procedure solely motivated, according to them, by political considerations: definitively excluding Aung San Suu Kyi, daughter of the hero of independence and big winner of the 2015 and 2020 elections, from the political arena. Several of his relatives have also already been sentenced to heavy sentences: the death penalty for a former parliamentarian, 75 years in prison for a former minister, twenty years for one of his collaborators. Others went into exile or went into hiding.
A section of ousted MPs from the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, formed a parallel “National Unity Government” (NUG) in an effort to undermine the legitimacy of the junta. But, fifteen months after the coup, the NUG does not control any territory and has not been recognized by any foreign government.