Myanmar Sentences Its Ousted Leader, A Nobel Peace Prize Winner, To Prison

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Laurel Duggan on December 6, 2021

Aung San Suu Kyi, the ousted leader of Myanmar, was convicted of incitement and violating virus restrictions, being sentenced to four years in prison on Monday, the Associated Press reported.

Suu Kyi was found guilty in what international critics called a “sham trial,” Reuters reported. Additional charges against Suu Kyi carry a potential total sentence of more than 100 years in prison, according to the AP.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate, spent 15 years under house arrest before becoming a civilian leader of Myanmar when the military government promised democratic reforms, the AP reported. She was arrested Feb. 1, when the army took power from the democratically elected National League for Democracy party.

The army seized power after it claimed massive voter fraud in Myanmar’s November 2020 elections, which Suu Kyi’s party predictably won by a wide margin, Reuters reported. Other National League for Democracy party leaders have also been detained.

“The conviction of the State Counsellor following a sham trial in secretive proceedings before a military-controlled court is nothing but politically motivated,” U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said, according to Reuters.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also criticized the sentencing. “The Burmese military regime’s unjust conviction of Aung San Suu Kyi and the repression of other democratically elected officials are yet further affronts to democracy and justice in Burma,” he said, Reuters reported.

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