Aun San Suu Kyi: Wrapping up the last remaining cases against her, a court in military-ruled Myanmar convicts deposed leader Aun San Suu Kyi on five counts of corruption and jailed her for a combined seven years according to local reports.
Suu Kyi was arrested during the coup in February this year and was found guilty of various offences.
The case that ended Friday involved five offences under the anti-corruption law and followed earlier convictions on seven other corruption counts, each of which was punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine. She has also been convicted of several other offences, including illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies, violating coronavirus restrictions, breaching the country’s official secrets act, sedition and election fraud.
Friday’s verdict in the purpose-built courtroom in the main prison on the outskirts of the capital, Naypyitaw, was made known by a legal official who insisted on anonymity for fear of being punished by the authorities. The trial was closed to the media, diplomats and spectators, and her lawyers were barred by a gag order from talking about it.
Who is Aun San Suu Kyi?
Aung San Suu Kyi was born in Rangoon, British Burma. After graduating from the University of Delhi in 1964 and St Hugh’s College, Oxford in 1968, she worked at the United Nations for three years. She married Michael Aris in 1972, with whom she had two children.
Aung San Suu Kyi rose to prominence in the 1998 uprising of 8 August 1988 and became the General Secretary of the NLD, which she had newly formed with the help of several retired army officials who criticized the military junta. In the 1990 elections, NLD won 81% of the seats in Parliament, but the results were nullified, as the military government refused to hand over power, resulting in an international outcry.
She had been detained before the elections and remained under house arrest for almost 15 of the 21 years from 1989 to 2010, becoming one of the world’s most prominent political prisoners. She survived an assassination attempt in the 2003 when at least 70 people associated with the NLD were killed.
Her party boycotted the 2010 general elections resulting in a decisive victory for the military-backed United Solidarity and Development Party. Aung San Suu Kyi became MP while her party won 43 of the 45 vacant seats in the 2012 elections.
When she ascended to the office of state counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi drew criticism from several countries, organisations and figures over Myanmar’s inaction in response to the genocide of the Rohingya people in Rakhene State and refusal to acknowledge that Myanmar’s military has committed massacres.Under her leadership, Myanmar also drew criticism for prosecutions of journalists. In 2019, Aung San Suu Kyi appeared in the International Court of Justice where she defended the Burmese military against allegations of genocide against the Rohingya.
Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party had won the November 2020 Myanmar general election, was arrested on 1 February 2021, following a coup d’e’tat that returned the Tatmadaw (Myanmar Armed Forces) to power and sparked protests across the country. Several charges were filed against her, and on 6 December 2021, she was sentenced to four years in prison on two of them. Later, on 10 January 2022, she was sentenced to an additional four years on another set of charges. By 12 October 2022, she had been convicted to 26 years imprisonment on ten charges in total, including five corruption charges. The United Nations, most European countries, and the United States condemned the arrests, trials, and sentences as politically motivated.