A Burmese court has sentenced this Friday the country’s former ‘de facto’ leader Aung San Suu Kyi to another three years in prison, this time for a crime of electoral fraud, a ruling that adds to other convictions against her following her arrest during the military coup d’état of February 2021.
The former Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1991 has been under arrest since June at her home in the capital, Naypyidaw. She has already been charged on eleven counts, for which she has been imprisoned for twenty years. She denies the accusations and the trials, behind closed doors and without the possibility for her lawyers to communicate with the media, have been questioned by human rights groups because of their political motivations.
Suu Kyi, already sentenced over the past few months to six years in prison for incitement, skipping anti-pandemic restrictions and violating a telecommunications law, still faces charges of violating the Official Secrets Act, election fraud and corruption.
The coup was perpetrated by the military to overturn the results of the November 2020 general election, in which Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won a parliamentary majority, arguing that there had been fraud, a claim disputed by international observers.
Despite this, NLD parliamentarians were subsequently sworn in at an informal ceremony and re-elected Suu Kyi to a second term. Like Suu Kyi, the country’s president, Win Myint, also remains in detention.
The coup was followed by a harsh crackdown on opponents, activists and protesters that has so far resulted in more than 2,260 deaths and around one 15,350 detainees, according to data released by the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP) via its Twitter account.