Aung San Suu Kyi (File Photo) Photograph:( Reuters )
If Aung San Suu Kyi is found guilty, the democratically elected leader may exit Myanmar's political arena for good
Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi will hear a high stakes verdict on Tuesday. A military junta court will announce the verdict in an indictment case. This is the first major trial since Suu Kyi was ousted in February 2021. It could land the Nobel laureate in jail for several years.
What are the charges against Suu Kyi?
Suu Kyi faces three years in jail if found guilty of incitement against the military. The trial can effectively remove Myanmar’s democratically elected icon from the political arena for good. The ousted leader faces 11 criminal charges. The maximum prison sentence is more than a century. Other charges include possessing unlicensed walkie-talkies, violating COVID-19 restrictions during elections in 2020, violation of official secrets act, corruption and election fraud.
Who conducted the trial?
The closed door trial was conducted by Myanmar’s military. The military is led by Chief General Min Aung Hlaing. The special court appointed by the military bars journalists from covering the proceedings. Suu Kyi’s lawyers have been banned from speaking to the media.
What happened in February 2021?
Myanmar’s military staged a coup against the democratically elected government. Aung San Suu Kyi was detained along with other top leaders of her party. Military accused Suu Kyi of election fraud, and power was handed over to Min Aung Hlaing.
The generals swung into action hours before the parliament was due to sit for the first time after the election of National League for Democracy government. Suu Kyi called upon people to take to streets against the military takeover. Phone and internet connection in the capital Naypyidaw and parts of Yangon were disrupted. Television went off-air. Min Aung Hlaing promised a fair and free election and a peaceful transition of power to the winning party. However, he did not give a timeline. Western nations condemned the turn of events.
What happened after the military coup?
Millions of people across the country took to the streets. They demanded their democratically elected leader Suu Kyi to be reinstated. The military handled the protests with an iron fist. According to a local monitoring group, more than 1,200 people have been killed. More than 10,000 people have been arrested. There has been a systematic crackdown on dissent ever since the coup took place.
Where is Aung San Suu Kyi?
The military regime has confined Suu Kyi to an undisclosed location in the capital. She has been allowed to keep a small staff. She has limited links with the outside world. Last month, Suu Kyi’s legal team said that hectic court proceedings were taking a toll on her health.