Myanmar’s military-ruled court has halved their sentence of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, from four to two years, as international criticism continues to mount.
This follows the court’s initial guilty ruling on Monday of inciting dissent and breaking COVID-19 rules. These are the first in a series of charges which are to be levied against the ousted leader; others include corruption, election fraud, and illegally importing and possessing walkie talkies. The court had ruled that she be jailed for four years before lowering the sentence to two. Ousted President Win Myint was also sentenced to four years.
Amnesty International’s Ming Yu Hah decried the ruling as being based on “bogus charges” and being “the latest example of the military’s determination to eliminate all opposition and suffocate freedoms in Myanmar”.
She further urged for the international community to step up their efforts to “protect civilians and hold perpetrators of grave violations to account, and ensure humanitarian and health assistance is granted as a matter of utmost urgency”.
Since the military coup in February, Myanmar’s military has killed 1,2000 people and arrested 7,5000. Those detained have been subject to police brutality, torture, and rape which remain widespread and systemic issues.
Human Rights Watch has urged for the courts to quash the charges against her and to “release of everyone arbitrarily detained”.
Charles Santiago, Chair of the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights also decried the court’s ruling as a “travesty of justice”.
Since the day of the coup, it’s been clear that the charges against Aung San Suu Kyi, and the dozens of other detained MPs, have been nothing more than an excuse by the junta to justify their illegal power grab.
World leaders have also condemned the actions of Myanmar’s military with British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss slamming the ruling as an attempt to “stifle opposition and suppress freedom and democracy”.