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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Myanmar: From house arrest to prison: Aung San Suu Kyi in solitary confinement

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The military junta in Myanmar is doing everything it can to silence Aung San Suu Kyi politically. The famous politician is used to years of house arrest – but now she is in prison.

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The situation for Myanmar’s ousted ex-Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi is becoming increasingly serious: the Nobel Peace Prize winner has been taken to a prison in the capital Naypyidaw, according to junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun.

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The 77-year-old is said to be in solitary confinement there. Suu Kyi was arrested and placed under house arrest during the February 2021 military coup.

The civil disobedience movement in Myanmar called the junta’s behavior “vindictive and shameful” on Twitter on Thursday.

A spokesman for the shadow government (Government of National Unity, NUG) tweeted that they were very concerned about Suu Kyi’s transfer to solitary confinement. “Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners in Myanmar must be released,” it said.

Nearly a dozen corruption lawsuits

The prominent politician has been in court for months for numerous alleged offenses. Among other things, she is confronted with almost a dozen corruption lawsuits. The politician faces up to 15 years in prison for each charge.

In April, a first verdict was made because of corruption: a court had sentenced Suu Kyi to five years in prison. However, it was not clear for a long time whether she really had to go to prison. She herself had denied the accusation of accepting gold and a $600,000 (560,000 euro) bribe from a politician. She had previously been sentenced to six years in prison for minor offenses in another trial.

Court dates without public

The court dates are closed to the public. Suu Kyi’s lawyers are not allowed to communicate with the media. Human rights activists speak of a show trial.

Suu Kyi had previously been under house arrest for a total of 15 years. Almost 20 years ago, she was held briefly in Insein Prison, notorious for its torture methods, in the largest city of Yangon.

She has been the de facto head of government since 2016 and the former Burma on the way to timid democratic reforms. In the parliamentary elections in November 2020, she secured a second term with a clear lead. Observers believe that it had become too dangerous for the generals who had ruled what was formerly Burma with an iron fist for decades, and who therefore staged a coup in early 2021. The junta, on the other hand, justified the overthrow with alleged electoral fraud – but no evidence was presented. The country has been engulfed in chaos and violence for almost a year and a half.

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Source: Stern

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