Fallen Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi is expected to hear the verdict of her incitement trial on Tuesday, the first in a catalog of judgments handed down by a junta court that could jail her for decades.
The Nobel Laureate has been held since the generals toppled her government in the early hours of February 1, ending the Southeast Asian country’s brief democratic interlude. More than 1,200 people have been killed and more than 10,000 arrested in a crackdown on dissent, according to a local watch group. Suu Kyi faces three years in prison if convicted of inciting against the military – one of the charges that analysts say aims to permanently remove the democracy icon from the political arena. But the junta’s plans for Suu Kyi remain unknown, they add, and authorities could delay the verdict as well. Journalists have been excluded from proceedings before the special court in the military capital Naypyidaw and its lawyers are prohibited from speaking to the media. Days after the coup, Suu Kyi was charged with obscure charges of possessing unlicensed walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus restrictions in elections her National League for Democracy (NLD) won in 2020. The junta has regularly added a host of other indictments, including violation of the law on official secrecy, corruption and electoral fraud. Suu Kyi now appears most days of the week in the junta’s courtroom, after her legal team said last month that the busy schedule was hurting the 76-year-old’s health. “I think it is almost certain that Suu Kyi will be sentenced to a severe sentence,” said David Mathieson, a former Myanmar-based analyst. “The question is, what will his incarceration look like?” â¦ Will she get average convict treatment in an overcrowded women’s cell block or privilege in a VIP state house? ”
Suu Kyi’s long periods of house arrest under a previous junta were spent at her family’s colonial-era mansion in Yangon, where she would appear before thousands of people gathered on the other side of the fence in his garden. Min Aung Hlaing’s regime confined her to an undisclosed location in the remote capital, with small staff. His connection to the outside world was limited to brief pre-trial meetings with his lawyers, who brought him news and relayed messages to his supporters. During her first court appearance, she used them to send a message of defiance, vowing the NLD would endure and asking party supporters to stand united. On her 76th birthday in June, supporters across the country posted photos of themselves with flowers in their hair on social media – a signature long Suu Kyi look. Two days later, her legal team forwarded a message from Suu Kyi thanking them for the gesture. But in October, his team were hit with a gag order after relaying vivid testimony from ousted President Win Myint describing how he rejected a military offer to resign to save himself during the coup. Meanwhile, the trials of other high-ranking members of Suu Kyi’s NLD have ended, with the junta imposing severe sentences. A former chief minister was sentenced to 75 years in prison earlier this month, while a close aide to Suu Kyi was sentenced to 20 years in prison. the clemency of the junta and its leader. “How much mercy does Min Aung Hlaing have?” ”
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