Already sentenced to a total of eleven years in prison, the former Burmese leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, was sentenced on Monday August 15 to an additional six-year prison sentence during a river trial. , denounced as political by the international community.
The 77-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner has been found guilty of four corruption charges. Appeared in good health at the military court, according to a source familiar with the matter, she did not comment after the judgment was read.
Arrested during the military coup of 1er February 2021 which ended a decade of democratic transition in Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi was placed in solitary confinement in a Naypyidaw prison at the end of June. It is in this prison in the capital that his trial continues, which began more than a year ago, behind closed doors, his lawyers being prohibited from speaking to the press and international organizations.
She is targeted by a multitude of offenses (violation of a law on state secrets dating from the colonial era, electoral fraud, sedition, corruption, etc.) and risks decades in prison. At the end of April, the Nobel Prize was sentenced to five years in prison under the anti-corruption law, for having received 600,000 dollars and more than eleven kilos of gold in bribes from the former minister in charge of the region from Yangon.
This is a “affront to justice and the rule of law”responded a spokesman for the US State Department on Monday, calling for the “immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all those unjustly detained, including democratically elected representatives”.
The head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, for his part, reported a conviction “unfair” and called on the Burmese regime to ” release immediately and unconditionally [Aung San Suu Kyi]as well as all political prisoners, and to respect the popular will”.
For the NGO Human Rights Watch, “The fabricated trials by the junta, the torture of detainees and the execution of activists amply illustrate the disregard for the lives of the people of Burma”.
“Deaf to national and international indignation, the trials to punish Suu Kyi and her relatives aim to erase the democratic past” Burma, also reacted to Agence France-Presse political analyst David Mathieson. “Their intention is clear to everyone except the international community”whose sanctions are considered too light by some observers, he continued.
Many voices denounce a judicial harassment motivated, according to them, by political considerations, aimed at putting in touch and in a definitive way the daughter of the hero of independence and great winner of the elections of 2015 and 2020. Several of her relatives have were sentenced to heavy sentences (seventy-five years in prison for a former minister, twenty years for one of his collaborators) and a former member of his party, Phyo Zeya Thaw, was sentenced to death and executed at the end of July.
Others went into exile or went into hiding. Some of these ousted elected officials formed a parallel National Unity Government (NUG) in an effort to undermine the legitimacy of the junta. But it does not control any territory, and has not been recognized by any foreign government. Aung San Suu Kyi remains a very popular figure in Burma, even if her international image has been damaged by her inability to defend the Muslim Rohingya minority, victims of abuses by the army in 2016 and 2017, a “genocide”, according to Washington.
The military junta, isolated on the international scene
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) special envoy for Burma, mandated to find a way out of the crisis, was not allowed to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi during her most recent visit, end of June.
Many opponents of the military regime also believe that their fight must go beyond the Nobel Prize to try to end the grip of the generals on the politics and economy of Burma. Militias have taken up arms against the junta in several regions of Burma, going against the principle of non-violence advocated by Aung San Suu Kyi.
The army in power defends its plan to organize elections in the summer of 2023. The United States has already rejected this “simulacrum” of elections that cannot be “neither free nor just under present conditions”according to the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.
The junta, increasingly isolated on the international scene, took power by force under the pretext of alleged fraud in the elections of the previous year, won in a landslide by the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, ending a decade of democratic transition. The putsch plunged the country into chaos. Nearly 2,100 civilians have been killed by security forces and more than 15,000 arrested, according to a local NGO.
Source: Le Monde