Aung San Suu Kyi’s prison sentence extended to 33 years

Today, a court in military-ruled Myanmar convicted the country’s ousted former leader Aung San Suu Kyi to seven years in prison for corruption. She has been detained since 2021 and has since faced a series of charges, ending with a total of 33 years jail time, which for the 77-year-old means life sentence.

The court session was held behind closed doors and involved five offences under the anti-corruption law, all of which she was found guilty. A legal official said Ms Suu Kyi received sentences of three years for each of four charges, to be served concurrently, and four years for a charge related to a helicopter rental for a cabinet member, for a total of seven years.

Ms Suu Kyi has denied all of the charges against her and described them as absurd. Previously faced charges for at least 18 offences from graft to election violations, which lead to a sentence of 26 years in prison.

As per media reports, last week, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) called on the military junta to end the violence in Myanmar and release all political prisoners, including Suu Kyi and former President Win Myint. The deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division stated about the decision on Friday: “The convictions aim to both permanently sideline her, as well as undermine and ultimately negate her NLD party’s landslide victory in the November 2020 election.”

“From start to finish, the junta grabbed whatever it could to manufacture cases against her with full confidence that the country’s kangaroo courts would come back with whatever punitive judgements the military wanted. Due process and a free and fair trial were never remotely possible under the circumstances of this political persecution against her.”

Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested and deposed by the Myanmar military in February 2021, along with other leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party, she was State Counsellor since 2016.