Aung San Suu Kyi, 76, had been detained by Myanmar’s military junta, since the generals staged a coup and ousted her government on February 1, ending the Southeast Asian country’s brief period of democracy.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on behalf of the 27 member states, noted that Suu Kyi’s sentencing ‘represents another step towards the dismantling of the rule of law.’
Suu Kyi has since been hit with a series of allegations, including violating the Official Secrets Act, electoral fraud and was sentenced to two years in prison for incitement against the military and another two years for breaching COVID protocol.
Former President Win Myint was also sentenced to four years on the same charges.
‘The European Union strongly condemns this politically motivated verdict, which constitutes another major setback for democracy in Myanmar since the military coup on 1 February 2021,’ Mr. Borrell added in his official statement.
‘The military’s actions show complete contempt for the will of the people, expressed clearly in the November 2020 elections. It is imperative that the Myanmar military authorities allow a swift return of Myanmar to the path of democracy,” he added, praising the the people of Myanmar for rejecting the coup’ he added.
In 1991, Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, while still under house arrest, and hailed as ‘an outstanding example of the power of the powerless.’ She spent nearly 15 years in detention at the hands of the military between 1989 and 2010 an was hailed as an icon of democratic rights.
In 2015, she led her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) to victory in Myanmar’s first openly contested election in 25 years. But she was deposed by a military coup in 2021.
However her reputation abroad was severely damaged by the way she handled the Rohingya crisis, which started in 2017.
In 2019, Suu Kyi appeared at the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ) to defend her country against accusations of genocide.
Ms. Suu Kyi faces 11 charges in total, which have been widely condemned as unjust.
The court has sentenced Aung San Suu Kyi to four more years in prison on Monday after finding her guilty of illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus restrictions.
If found guilty of all the charges, she could be sentenced to more than 100 years in prison.
She has denied all charges.
This article has been updated.
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