A court in military-ruled Myanmar sentenced ousted leader Noble prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday to four years in prison for incitement and violating COVID-19 restrictions, delivering the first verdicts against her since a coup ousted a civilian government on Feb. 1.
Her sentence was later in the day reduced by the military junta leader to two years’ detention in her current location, which has not been disclosed, state TV reported in an evening broadcast.
In Mynamar Military coup and February’s seizure of power was met by nationwide nonviolent demonstrations, which security forces quashed with deadly force.
They have killed about 1,300 civilians, according to a detailed tally compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
With severe restrictions on nonviolent protest, armed resistance has grown in the cities and countryside, to the point that UN experts have warned the country is sliding into civil war.
The military took Suu Kyi into custody on the day of its takeover, and she has not been seen in public since then, though she has appeared in court in several of her trials.
Judgment on Suu Kyi’s second count of violating coronavirus restrictions is scheduled for Dec 14.
The maximum penalty for each count is three years’ imprisonment and a fine.
Other cases against Suu Kyi now being tried cover the alleged unregistered import and use of walkie-talkies by her security guards;
Violation of the Official Secrets Act, in which jailed Australian economist Sean Turnell is a co-defendant;
and four separate corruption charges covering the alleged acceptance of a bribe and abuse of office to obtain favourable terms on property transactions.
Each of the corruption charges has a maximum penalty of 15 years’ imprisonment and a fine.
A trial on a fifth corruption charge has not yet started, and state media last week announced a sixth charge has also been filed against Suu Kyi.
The latest charge accuses her and Win Myint of corruption in granting permits to rent and buy a helicopter.
In mid-November, the military-appointed election commission announced it intended to prosecute Suu Kyi and 15 other senior political figures for alleged fraud in the last election, which could result in her party being dissolved.
The military has declared it seized power because of widespread election fraud, a claim that independent election observers say lacks evidence.