Myanmar’s ousted civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, was sentenced to another four years in prison on Monday, the second round of verdicts against the Nobel prize winner.
Suu Kyi was found guilty of multiple charges that include possession of unlicensed walkie-talkies, a source with knowledge of the court proceedings told CNN.
Suu Kyi, 76, was Myanmar’s state counselor and de facto leader of the country before she was ousted and detained by the military in a coup 11 months ago and hit with almost a dozen charges that add up to combined maximum sentences of more than 100 years.
They include several charges of corruption – which each carry a maximum prison sentence of 15 years – violating Covid-19 pandemic restrictions during the 2020 election campaign, incitement, illegally importing and possessing walkie talkies, and breaking the colonial-era Official Secrets Act – which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
She has rejected all allegations and her supporters say the charges against her are political.
Monday’s sentence includes two years imprisonment for violating Myanmar’s export-import law by possessing the walkie-talkies, and one year for violating the communications law. The two sentences will run concurrently, the source told CNN.
Suu Kyi was also sentenced to two years for violating the natural disaster management law, which regards breaking coronavirus rules.
On December 7, a Zabuthiri Court in the capital Naypyidaw initially sentenced Suu Kyi to four years in prison after being found guilty of incitement and two years after being found guilty of violating section 25 of Disaster Management Law, sources close to the trial said.
Later that day the military reduced the four year sentence to two years. The military also halved the four-year prison sentence of Myanmar’s deposed President Win Myint.
Myanmar’s military junta has sought to restrict information about the trials, which have been closed to the public. In October, a gag order was imposed on her legal team that prevented them from speaking with the media.
In a statement on Monday, Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, said, “The Myanmar junta’s courtroom circus of secret proceedings on bogus charges is all about steadily piling up more convictions against Aung San Suu Kyi so that she will remain in prison indefinitely.”
“Sr. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing and the junta leaders obviously still view her as a paramount political threat who needs to be permanently neutralized. Only that can explain the junta’s willingness to appear as global laughingstocks as they secure convictions in a kangaroo court on the flimsiest, politically motivated charges,” Robertson said.
Additional reporting from Reuters.