Myanmar’s Suu Kyi gets jail with hard labour for election fraud

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Sept. 2 (Reuters) – Deposed former Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi was found guilty of electoral fraud and sentenced to three years in prison with hard labour, according to a source familiar with the proceedings.

The Nobel laureate and figurehead of Myanmar’s opposition to decades of military rule has been incarcerated since a coup early last year and has already been sentenced to more than 17 years in prison. She denies all allegations against her.

On Friday, she was convicted of fraud in the November 2020 general election that won her National League for Democracy (NLD) by an overwhelming legislative majority and overthrew a party founded by the powerful military.

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The source, who declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak to the media, said it was the first time forced labor had been applied to Suu Kyi’s conviction and it was unclear what it would entail.

Co-defendant Win Myint, the deposed president, received the same sentence, the source said.

A spokesman for the ruling military council did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The junta has said Suu Kyi, 77, will receive a fair trial.

Former inmates have told Reuters about the harsh conditions in some prisons in Myanmar and in recent years there have been media reports of shackling and forced labor in quarries in some facilities.

Myanmar’s state adviser Aung San Suu Kyi attends Invest Myanmar in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Jan. 28, 2019. REUTERS/Ann Wang/File Photo

Still, an official from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an activist group that monitors detentions, said he did not expect high-profile political prisoners like Suu Kyi to undergo forced labor, not least because it would involve fraternizing with other inmates.

He also said laws pertaining to prisons in Myanmar state that the elderly or those in poor health should be spared such work.

The military seized power in February 2021 to prevent Suu Kyi’s NLD from forming a new government after the election that it said had committed fraud that had not been properly investigated.

The NLD denies fraud and claims to have won honestly.

Suu Kyi has been on trial for more than a year on multiple charges ranging from corruption and sedition to leaking official secrets, for which the combined maximum sentences are more than 190 years.

Her trials have been held behind closed doors in the capital Naypyitaw, and the junta’s statements on the proceedings have been limited. Suu Kyi’s lawyers have been banned from speaking.

In June, Myanmar military authorities took Suu Kyi to solitary confinement in a prison in the capital Naypyitaw from an undisclosed location.

In response to a request from a visiting UN official who urged Suu Kyi to return home, junta chief Min Aung Hlaing said last month that he would consider placing her under house arrest, but only after all the verdicts in her cases had been handed down. reaches. read more

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Reporting by Reuters employees; Written by Martin Petty/Ed Davies; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Robert Birsel and Nick Macfie

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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