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Amnesty International Calls Suu Kyi’s New Sentence "Shameful"

WASHINGTON - Today’s guilty verdict against
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi by a court in Myanmar has been described by Amnesty
International’s Secretary General Irene Khan as "shameful".
“Her arrest, trial and now this guilty verdict are nothing more than legal
and political theatre,” added Irene Khan.

On August 11, a court in Yangon’s Insein
prison found Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader guilty of violating the conditions
of her house arrest, after an uninvited man spent two nights there in early
May. Under Section 22 of Myanmar’s State Protection Act of 1975, the court
sentenced Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to three years imprisonment, commuted to
18 months under house arrest.  This was less than the maximum five
years’ imprisonment allowed by law.  

"The Myanmar authorities will hope that
a sentence that is shorter than the maximum will be seen by the international
community as an act of leniency. But it is not, and must not be seen as
such, especially by ASEAN or the UN. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained
for over 13 of the past 20 years but should never have been arrested in
the first place. The only issue here is her immediate and unconditional
release”, said Irene Khan.

Amnesty International also noted that Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi, a prisoner of conscience, is one of more than 2,150 political
prisoners in Myanmar.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s sentencing comes
in the midst of ongoing human rights violations by the military against
ethnic minority civilians. In early June the Myanmar army staged attacks
and took Karen civilians for forced labor in Kayin State. This resulted
in over 3,500 refugees fleeing to Thailand.


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