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Myanmar junta sentences Aung San Suu Kyi to jail for electoral fraud

Zabuthiri Township judge Maung Maung Khin handed down the sentence at a junta-controlled closed court in the Naypyitaw Detention Centre, News Agency, Myanmar Now reported.

ANI | New Delhi |

Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday was sentenced to three years in jail with hard labor after a court found her guilty of electoral fraud.

Zabuthiri Township judge Maung Maung Khin handed down the sentence at a junta-controlled closed court in the Naypyitaw Detention Centre, News Agency, Myanmar Now reported.

Apart from Suu Kyi, other two leaders (Win Myint and Min Thu) from the ousted civilian government, whose National League for Democracy (NLD) party won the 2020 election in a landslide, were accused of violating Section 130a of the Penal Code by unfairly influencing the election commission.

The military council’s allegations were based on the report of 2,000 double votes, found after one year of investigation carried out since the February 2011 coup.

Some 75 percent of Myanmar’s more than 37 million registered voters participated in the 2020 general election, according to the International Foundation for Electoral Systems.

However, the junta vowed to confront the alleged fraud with legal action against several NLD leaders and party members, as well as the more than 420 members of the previous Union Election Commission and nearly 2,500 members of local election commissions, reported Myanmar Now.

Suu Kyi, 77, has already been sentenced to 17 years in prison for corruption and sedition charges.

Recently, in August, she was handed a six-year sentence for four corruption charges after the military accused her of abusing her position as party leader to benefit a private foundation named after her mother, Daw Khin Kyi, as well as an affiliated project.

Notably, the military detained Suu Kyi in February 2021 as it seized power in Myanmar.

Myanmar’s military leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing is the one who led a coup against an elected civilian government in 2021 and detained Aung San Suu Kyi over alleged election irregularities.

In August last year, Min Aung Hlaing declared himself Prime Minister of a newly formed caretaker government. During an address to the nation on August 1, he repeated a pledge to hold elections by 2023.

More than 1,000 civilians have been killed by Myanmar security forces with thousands of others arrested, according to the United Nations, amid a crackdown on strikes and protests which has derailed the country’s tentative democracy and prompted international condemnation.

In a recent update, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said the conflict has intensified over the past month, with increased reports of army raids across Myanmar, especially in the northwest and southeast regions.