New York [US], December 9 (ANI): The UN Security Council (UNSC) has expressed "deep concern" over this week's conviction and sentencing of Myanmar's ousted democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi, former President Win Myint and others.
Suu Kyi was found guilty of inciting public unrest and breaching COVID-19 restrictions and sentenced to four years in prison.
Suu Kyi, 76, who was the leader of Myanmar prior to the February military coup faces an additional 10 politically motivated charges, including for possessing unlicensed walkie-talkies, corruption, and election fraud, carrying a total potential sentence of more than 100 years in prison. Ousted President Win Myint was also sentenced to four years.
"The members of the Security Council expressed deep concern at the sentencing of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint and others. Recalling their previous statements, they reiterated their calls for the release of all those who have been arbitrarily detained since 1 February 2021," the UNSC said in a statement.
"The members of the Security Council once again stressed their continued support for the democratic transition in Myanmar and underlined the need to uphold democratic institutions and processes, refrain from violence, pursue constructive dialogue and reconciliation in accordance with the will and interests of the people of Myanmar, fully respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and uphold the rule of law," the statement added.
Reacting to the development, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Aung San Suu Kyi's guilty verdict is "baseless convictions" and more sentences can be expected to be piled on in the future.
"The junta is using this sham court proceeding to wipe out all opposition to military dictatorship. Yet since the coup and Suu Kyi's arrest, millions have taken to the streets to protest for freedom and democracy," said Brad Adams, Asia director at HRW.
Myanmar's security forces have killed over 1,200 people since the coup, arrested more than 7,500, and tortured and raped detainees, according to HRW. The junta's widespread and systematic abuses amount to the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance, torture, rape and other sexual violence, severe deprivation of liberty, and other inhumane acts causing great suffering.
The junta has detained thousands of protesters, activists, journalists, and others on charges that are similarly unjust as those against Aung San Suu Kyi. (ANI)