Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi convicted of violating constitution

Image copyright AFP Image caption A judge told Ms Suu Kyi she must “stand trial for violating the peace and stability of Rakhine state”

Myanmar’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi has been given a half-term jail sentence, but that is unlikely to translate into immediate immediate jail time.

She was convicted of violating the constitution in connection with the violence in Rakhine State last year.

Prosecutors had asked the court in Yangon to sentence her to four years in prison.

The Myanmar leader is a prisoner of conscience and Ms Suu Kyi’s trial, and the judgment, were a slap in the face to her many critics, Amnesty International has said.

The BBC’s Hla Tin Oo in Yangon said no one expects Ms Suu Kyi to actually spend time in jail.

Mr Hla Tin Oo said legal analysts had not yet learned if she will begin her sentence early, and the state-run media has not reported the sentence.

He said the judge might decide instead to detain her for the three-month period, suspending her sentence in exchange for a confession.

The political activist was found guilty of breaking the rules of the constitution by continuing to vote during clashes between the security forces and insurgents in her constituency last September.

Arrest of Suu Kyi’s daughter

Ms Suu Kyi’s lawyer, Tin Ko Ko Naing, later told reporters his client had not understood when the charges were laid, as he was in a state of shock at the time.

Ms Suu Kyi’s daughter, the pro-democracy leader and opposition politician Kim Ye Win, later told Reuters News Agency her mother had been detained for taking part in a peaceful demonstration.

More than 100 people were arrested at the demonstration, many for breaching a law against rallies without permission.

Ms Suu Kyi, 66, has been in the crosshairs of international pressure and criticism since last year’s violence. More than 70,000 Rohingya have fled the Rakhine State region.

Image copyright EPA Image caption Rohingya Muslims in a camp in Bangladesh © Getty Images

The former political prisoner was last year barred from being elected to parliament by a constitutional clause that bars anyone with a foreign spouse or child from being Myanmar’s head of state.

She took over the leadership after her long-time political rival, the former military general Aung San, was killed in a plane crash in 2011. He was the father of her brother.

Image copyright AFP

The party Ms Suu Kyi leads, the National League for Democracy, swept the elections in November 2015 – which were won by a coalition of Ms Suu Kyi’s party and the army-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party.

A lawyer for Ms Suu Kyi said she would appeal against the verdict.

The latest violence in Rakhine had left at least 700,000 Rohingya – the stateless Muslims – with “involuntary displacement”, the UN said in a statement in August.

But the military blames the Rohingya for the violence and has denied nearly all allegations against its soldiers.

Source: BBC News

Leave a Comment