Sat, 09 Dec 2023

Naypyidaw [Myanmar], August 16 (ANI): Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been convicted of corruption charges on Monday, adding six more years to her prison sentence.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been alleged to have used her position to rent public land at below-market prices. The ousted leader has been sentenced to three years for each of the four cases but the sentences for three of them will be served concurrently, giving her a total of six more years in prison, Al Jazeera reported citing a legal official.

Suu Kyi, 77, had already been sentenced to 11 years in prison on sedition, corruption and other charges after the military detained her in February 2021 as it seized power in Myanmar.

However, Aung San Suu Kyi denied all the charges and her lawyers are expected to appeal, reported Al Jazeera.

Lambasting Myanmar's Junta, the foreign minister for Myanmar's National Unity Government, Zin Mar Aung, said the decision was "yet another act of (the) junta's desperate attempts to discredit those democratically elected" and called for Aung San Suu Kyi's release.

As per analysts, numerous charges against Aung San Suu Kyi and her allies are part of the military's attempt to remove the popular politician from politics ahead of an election it has said it will hold next year.

Meanwhile, Malaysia's Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah who has been pressing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to discuss the issues of Myanmar, which is also a member of the 10-member group, also condemned the latest jail term, according to al Jazeera.

Myanmar later extended the state of emergency in the country for six more months, just ahead of the one-year anniversary of the military coup.

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. (ANI)

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