Aung San Suu Kyi is a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Myanmar’s de-facto leader. Now, she faces trial in the country for allegedly committing crimes against humanity during her time as Secretary of State by overseeing mass killings of Muslims while under house arrest.
Aung San Suu Kyi is a Nobel Peace Prize winner and the leader of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi was charged with crimes against humanity, including murder, deportation, forcible transfer and torture.
In March, a demonstrator in Yangon, Myanmar, holds a banner depicting jailed civilian leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Credit: Getty Images/Agence France-Presse
On Monday, a Myanmar court sentenced Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s deposed civilian leader, to four years in prison for inciting public disturbance and violating Covid-19 guidelines. She is facing a succession of court decisions that might result in her being imprisoned for the rest of her life.
Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, who was imprisoned in February after a military coup, faces a total of 11 counts and a maximum sentence of 102 years in jail.
Her trials, which the UN and other nations have labeled as politically motivated, have taken place behind closed doors in Myanmar’s capital, Naypyidaw. All five of her attorneys have been forbidden from communicating to the media by the junta, which claims that their communications might “destabilize the nation.”
Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, who is 76 years old, is a flawed heroine for a difficult country.
Her admirers in Myanmar see her as a protector of the country’s democracy, a cause for which she earned the Nobel Peace Prize. Her worldwide image was tainted, however, by her role in the military’s terrible crimes against the Rohingya, a Muslim minority population.
The guilty conviction is expected to energise a protest movement that has seen thousands of people take up weapons against the army since the generals took control in February.
On the streets of Yangon, Myanmar’s most populous city, a military vehicle crashed into a throng of demonstrators carrying banners with her face and slogans, resulting in casualties. Protesters continued to rally in the streets late into the night, while locals expressed their displeasure by banging pots and pans.
On Sunday, protesters took part in a march in Yangon against the military takeover. Credit: Getty Images/Agence France-Presse
People have protested in the streets, physicians and nurses have stopped working in protest, and many have refused to pay taxes in a campaign known as the Civil Disobedience Movement in the months after the coup.
Despite the possibility of imprisonment, the movement continues to have considerable support. Defections are on the rise, with troops collaborating with armed protestors and insurgent groups to carry out hit-and-run operations against the military.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), a rights group located in Thailand, the junta has retaliated by killing over 1,300 individuals and arresting over 10,600 others.
Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi was viewed by many of her followers as the sole person capable of leading Myanmar toward complete democracy.
The military dominated the nation for half a century after a previous coup in 1962. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi was compelled to share power with the army, which appointed 25% of Parliament when she was elected in 2015. She led her party to a resounding election win in November 2020, defeating the military-backed opposition party.
Since her detention on February 1, she has not been seen in public and has been unable to communicate to anybody other than her attorneys. Military troops seized her and her colleagues from the National League of Democracy Party only hours before they were to assume their seats in Parliament, accusing them of voting fraud. The claim has been refuted by Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi.
The accusation of incitement has been denounced by human rights organizations, who claim it is being used to intimidate military opponents. It has a potential three-year term and specifies that anybody who “publishes or distributes any statement, rumor, or report” with the “purpose to create, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public” may be held accountable.
The accused of violating Covid-19 standards derives from an incident during the 2020 election campaign in which Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi appeared outdoors wearing a face mask and face shield, waving to supporters in cars. For the charge, she faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison.
As Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s case progressed, prosecutors began to lay fresh accusations against her. The judgments handed down on Monday are the first in a series that will be handed down in the coming months.
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The “aung san suu kyi nobel prize” is the first Nobel Prize awarded to a Burmese citizen. Aung San Suu Kyi was tried for her actions in Myanmar.
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