Myanmar: Jail sentences for Suu Kyi and former British ambassador

The military in Myanmar is continuing to crack down on the ousted ex-Prime Minister Aung San Suu-Kyi and opponents of the junta.

Myanmar: Jail sentences for Suu Kyi and former British ambassador

The military in Myanmar is continuing to crack down on the ousted ex-Prime Minister Aung San Suu-Kyi and opponents of the junta. A court controlled by the generals sentenced the 77-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi on Friday to a further three years in prison combined with forced labour, sources familiar with the trial from the German Press Agency confirmed. The case concerned alleged electoral fraud. Almost simultaneously, the former British ambassador to the country, Vicky Bowman, was sentenced to a year in prison for alleged immigration violations.

The military staged a coup in February 2021. Since then, the generals have ruled with brute force. In recent months, Suu Kyi has been sentenced to a total of 17 years in prison for various offenses, including corruption and incitement to riot. Observers speak of show trials.

The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner has been in solitary confinement in a prison in the capital, Naypyidaw, since June after initially being placed under house arrest in the wake of the coup. The proceedings take place behind closed doors. Suu Kyi's lawyers are not allowed to speak to the media.

The accusation: residence not correctly declared

Former Ambassador Vicky Bowman (56) was arrested last week with her Myanmar husband Htein Lin at their home in the largest city of Yangon (formerly Rangoon). According to the Myanmar Now news agency, Bowman was accused of not correctly declaring her place of residence. Her husband was accused of aiding and abetting.

The Briton, who has long lived in former Burma, was her country's ambassador from 2002 to 2006. The human rights activist has headed the "Myanmar Center for Responsible Business" since 2013. Htein Lin, a well-known artist, was a political prisoner from 1998 to 2004.

The Foreign Ministry in London said it was working for the ex-diplomat and her family. "We will continue our support for Ms. Bowman and her family until their case is resolved," said a ministry spokesman at the request of the German Press Agency on Friday.

Foreigners had been imprisoned even before Bowman: US journalist Danny Fenster was released from prison in November after six months. Australian economist Sean Turnell, an adviser to Suu Kyi, was arrested shortly after the coup. He is facing charges of violating a law on official secrets.

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