Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar leader sentenced to prison for failing to stop rally

Image copyright AFP Image caption The ruling is the latest development in what has been a rollercoaster year for the Nobel peace laureate

A Myanmar court has sentenced Aung San Suu Kyi to two years in prison for failing to stop an anti-Muslim rally in her home city.

But the charge has been reduced from two years to six months following an appeal against the verdict.

The charges relate to an anti-Muslim rally in August in which about 2,000 people gathered in Mawlamyine, Yangon.

Ms Suu Kyi’s ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party has been in power for less than a year.

Its bid to win outright in the general election was defeated in November by the A National League for Democracy (A NLD) led by Aung San Suu Kyi, who led the country until her party was stripped of most of its powers in the following weeks.

Win Tin, an NLD senior member and former minister, said the sentence meant Ms Suu Kyi “cannot run the country for three years”.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Ms Suu Kyi lives in her official Yangon residence

In August, the state prosecutor had accused Ms Suu Kyi of failing to give police “sufficient orders” to stop a rally, with the crowd throwing stones and setting fire to cars.

Ms Suu Kyi and other government members, as well as many local civil servants and members of the media, could have faced years in prison.

She was not in court for the verdict and the sentence, but then-Home Minister Lieutenant General Kyaw Hlaing said her conviction was “an order from the president and will be implemented”.

Human rights groups accuse Ms Suu Kyi of failing to take a stand against recent religious violence in the country.

The NLD has also been accused of meddling in judges’ decisions. One is said to have ordered the sacking of a judge responsible for allowing a coup appeal to go ahead.

Ms Suu Kyi led the country until the military refused to allow her to take office, citing her past relationship with a former senior officer, who it said should have seen her as a traitor.

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