Myanmar’s military court sentenced Aung San Suu Kyi to four years in prison on Monday after finding her guilty of three criminal charges. This is the latest in a series of trumped-up charges brought against the ousted Myanmar leader.
Her government was replaced in an early morning military coup on Feb 1, ending Myanmar’s short-lived experiment with democracy. She has been detained since then.
According to a local monitoring group, more than 1,400 civilians have been killed in a bloody crackdown by security forces in response to the generals’ power grab.
The 76-year-old Myanmar leader was found guilty of two charges relating to illegally importing and owning walkie-talkies, and of violating Coronavirus regulations, according to a source with knowledge of the case.
She is accused of possessing walkie-talkies after soldiers allegedly discovered contraband gear in her house on the day of the coup.
She was already sentenced to four years in jail in December for incitement and violating Covid-19 rules while campaigning. According to Jutta chief Min Aung Hlaing, she will serve her sentence under house arrest in Naypyidaw.
As a result of the military court’s decision, protesters in Myanmar have resorted to banging pots and pans in a show of anger.
In the wake of the verdict, Manny Maung, a researcher with Human Rights Watch, predicted further convictions would deepen nationwide discontent.
Suu Kyi’s lawyers have been forbidden to speak to the media, and journalists have been barred from attending hearings. In Rangoon, Myanmar’s largest city, Suu Kyi spent long periods under house arrest during a previous junta regime.
She is currently confined to an undisclosed location in the capital, with her only contact with the outside world being brief pre-trial meetings with her lawyers.
Aside from the cases on Monday, she is also accused of multiple counts of corruption — each of which carries a 15-year jail term — and of violating Myanmar’s official secrets act.