Deposed Burmese leader awaits first verdict of trials against her on Tuesday

Deposed Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a Sept. 22, 2012 photo at a Columbia University event in New York afp_tickers

This content was published on 28 November 2021 – 08:38


Deposed Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi will hear the verdict in her trial for incitement to violence on Tuesday, the first in a series of lawsuits opened against her by the military junta that overthrew her, and which could lead to her being sentenced to several years. from prison.

The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner has been under house arrest since the military overthrew her government on February 1, ending a brief democratic interlude in the Asian country.

More than 1,200 people have been killed and more than 10,000 arrested in the crackdown on dissidents, according to a local monitoring group.

Suu Kyi faces more than three years in prison if found guilty of inciting violence against the military, one of the charges that analysts say seek to exclude her forever from Burmese political life.

Authorities have said the verdict could be postponed.

The press does not have access to the trial in a special court in Naipyidó, the capital built by the military, and the former president’s lawyers are prohibited from speaking to journalists.

Following the coup, Suu Kyi was accused of possessing unregistered radio communicators and violating coronavirus restrictions during the elections that her National League for Democracy (NLD) won in 2020.

The board subsequently added a series of additional accusations, such as violating the secrecy law, corruption and electoral fraud.

Suu Kyi now appears almost every day in board court, and her legal team has warned that the pace has affected the 76-year-old’s health.

“I think it is almost a given that Suu Kyi will receive a severe sentence,” anticipated David Mathieson, a formerly Burma-based analyst.

“The question is how his incarceration will be … Will he be treated as an average convict in a crowded female cell, or with privileges in a VIP jail?” He asked.

– Isolated –

Suu Kyi spent long periods of house arrest in her family’s colonial mansion in Rangoon, where she appeared before thousands of her followers on the other side of her garden fence.

But the Min Aung Hlaing regime has confined her since February to an undisclosed site in the capital, along with a small team of assistants.

His contact with the outside world has been limited to brief meetings with his lawyers, who bring him news and messages from his supporters.

In her first court appearance, she used them to send a challenging message in which she promised that the NLD will endure and called on its militants to stand together.

In June, for her 76th birthday, supporters across the country uploaded photos on social media with flowers in her hair, a feature of Suu Kyi’s appearance.

Two days later, her legal team relayed a message in which Suu Kyi thanked her for the gesture.

But in October, the lawyers received a censure order after they aired emotional testimony from deposed President Win Myint in which he said he rejected an offer from the military to resign rather than be deposed.

Meanwhile, trials against other members of Suu Kyi’s party ended with harsh convictions.

A former minister was sentenced a few weeks ago to 75 years in prison while a figure close to Suu Kyi was sentenced to 20 years.

The generals can later reduce an eventual sentence against Suu Kyi, Mathieson said, although he cautioned that no mercy should be expected from the board and its leader.

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Deposed Burmese leader awaits first verdict of trials against her on Tuesday