Myanmar junta sentences Aung San Suu Kyi to 7 more years in jail, total prison time is now 33 years

If this sentence is carried out in full, she would likely spend the rest of her life in prison.

Tan Min-Wei | December 30, 2022, 10:38 PM

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Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced to a further seven years in prison by the Myanmar's military government.

33 years of imprisonment

Suu Kyi is the leader of Myanmar's democratically elected government. But in February 2021, her government was ousted by Myanmar's military in a coup.

Suu Kyi was arrested, and has been put on trial for various crimes ranging from corruption, violating the official secrets act, breaching Covid public safety rules, as well as importing walkie talkies.

The latest sentencing was for the final five charges that Suu Kyi is facing, given that she has previously been convicted of 14 other crimes, according to the BBC.

This brings the total amount of jail time she is facing to 33 years.

Suu Kyi is 77 years old. If this sentence is carried out in full, she would likely spend the rest of her life in prison.

Reuters described the trial process, which took place behind closed doors, as secretive and that Western countries have regarded the trials as a "sham".

Myanmar's military ousted Suu Kyi's elected government in February 2021, just after it had decisively won a general election.

The junta accused Suu Kyi's government of stealing the election, something that the civilian government and international observers dispute.

The coup has resulted in an outbreak of violence between the military and a loose grouping of rebel groups, ranging from ethnic groups to a civilian force nominally representing the ousted government.

Violence has increased in recent months, with airstrikes in the country leading to an emergency gathering of Asean foreign ministers.

Peace is essential

The sentencing comes after the United Nations Security Council voted to adopt a resolution calling for the end of violence and the release of political prisoners, including Suu Kyi, on Dec. 21.

Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan expressed his support for the resolution, calling on Myanmar to adhere to Asean's Five Point Consensus in order to find a peaceful resolution.

Asean is known for its non-interference principle, with member states sharing an understanding that they should not intervene in each other's domestic affairs.

The regional grouping has gone through the unprecedented step of barring representatives of the military government from attending Asean meetings, inviting the junta to send a non-political representative instead.

This has, up to now, been declined.

In a worrying sign that Asean's internal consensus may be fracturing, Reuters reports that some Asean foreign ministers met with their counterpart from Myanmar's junta on Dec. 22.

Singapore, amongst other Asean members more critical of the junta, reportedly declined to attend the meeting.

As the political crisis in Myanmar approaches the end of its second year, it remains without a resolution in sight.

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Top image via Getty