World condemns Myanmar for conviction of ousted leader Suu Kyi

The United States, EU, UN, the UK and Japan all condemned Myanmar for sentencing deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi to two years in detention.

Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi (photo credit: DONDI TAWATAO/ REUTERS)
Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi
(photo credit: DONDI TAWATAO/ REUTERS)

Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced on Monday to two years in detention on charges of incitement and breaching coronavirus restrictions in a case her supporters called politically motivated.

She was originally sentenced to four years in prison but the military junta leader reduced it to two years' detention in her current location, state TV reported.

President Win Myint was also sentenced to four years, also later reduced to two, after the court recorded its first verdicts against the civilian leaders detained after a military coup on February 1.

The United States criticized Myanmar's conviction of Suu Kyi as an affront to democracy and justice and demanded the immediate release of the Nobel laureate and other elected officials detained.

"The Burmese military regime's unjust conviction of Aung San Suu Kyi and the repression of other democratically elected officials are yet further affronts to democracy and justice in Burma," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

PROTESTERS HOLD torches during a demonstration in Mandalay, Myanmar. (credit: REUTERS)PROTESTERS HOLD torches during a demonstration in Mandalay, Myanmar. (credit: REUTERS)

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet also condemned the sentencing.

"The conviction of the State Counsellor following a sham trial in secretive proceedings before a military-controlled court is nothing but politically-motivated. It is not only about arbitrary denial of her freedom – it closes yet another door to political dialog."

"The military is attempting to instrumentalize the courts to remove all political opposition. But these cases cannot provide a legal veneer to the illegitimacy of the coup and military rule."

"This verdict against Aung San Suu Kyi will only deepen rejection of the coup. It will harden positions when what is needed is dialog and a peaceful, political settlement of this crisis."

The EU, UK and Japan also released statements condemning the verdict, demanding Suu Kyi's release.