Myanmar junta court sentences ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to six more years in prison

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Aug. 15 (UPI) — A Myanmar junta court on Monday sentenced Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s ousted civilian leader, to six additional years in prison after finding her guilty on further corruption charges.

Suu Kyi was convicted by the special court Monday for allegedly misusing her power to build a home on public land she rented at below-market prices with donations that were intended for a charity she founded in the memory of her late mother, the independent newspaper Myanmar Now reported.

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She pleaded not guilty to all counts and has asked her lawyers to appeal, claiming that the charges were unfair, according to The Irrawady — a newspaper for Burmese exiles living in Thailand.

Suu Kyi, a 77-year-old Nobel Peace laureate, has been detained since she was arrested after a military coup last February and faces 20 various charges, including 13 for corruption.

She had been held in an undisclosed location until June when she was sent to a prison in Naypyidaw, the capital, where she is kept isolated from other inmates, The New York Times reported. Her trials have been closed to the public and her lawyers have been barred from talking about her cases.

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Suu Kyi was previously convicted on six counts and sentenced to 11 years in prison before the additional charges Monday. She faces up to 164 years total if convicted on all her charges.

The former leader is one of at least 15,124 people arrested for opposing military rule since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. More than 12,000 remain in detention and 2,191 have been killed.

“The Burmese military regime’s unjust conviction of Aung San Suu Kyi and the repression of other democratically elected officials are yet further affronts to democracy and justice in Burma,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in December, using another name for the country.

“The regime’s continued disregard for the rule of law and its widespread use of violence against the Burmese people underscore the urgency of restoring Burma’s path to democracy.  We urge the regime to release Aung San Suu Kyi and all those unjustly detained.”

President Joe Biden released a joint statement in May with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemning the Myanmar junta.

“We remain deeply concerned by the crisis in Myanmar, which has caused grave humanitarian suffering and posed challenges to regional stability,” the statement reads.

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“We continue to call for the immediate end to violence in Myanmar, the release of all political detainees, including foreigners, engagement in constructive dialogue, humanitarian access, and the swift restoration of democracy.”