Thursday, 21 November 2019

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Aung San Suu Kyi’s sentence ‘unacceptable’: Amnesty


New Delhi (Mizzima) – Amnesty International on Tuesday said the verdict of 18 months suspended sentence handed down to Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, is “unacceptable” and urged the international community not to take it as a concession.

The special court in Rangoon’s Insein prison on Tuesday convicted Aung San Suu Kyi, sentencing her to three years in prison with hard labour. But the court’s decision was overridden by the country’s military supremo Snr. Gen Than Shwe who ordered that it be changed to half the sentence, i.e 18 months, as a suspended sentence.

Benjamin Zawacki, Burma researcher of Amnesty International said the suspended sentence on Aung San Suu Kyi should not be viewed as a concession by the Burmese regime, as the whole trial and earlier detentions are all illegal.

“Whether or not the sentence is a concession, the point is that the sentence, the trial and detention all of it are illegal,” Zawacki said. “Anything except unconditional release is illegal and unacceptable.”

Along with Aung San Suu Kyi her two live-in party mates, Khin Khin Win and Win Ma Ma, were also sentenced to three years with hard labour but it was reduced by the order to 18 months suspended sentence.

Following the court’s decision, rights groups across the world called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to take stronger action on the junta.

New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday urged the UNSC to condemn Burma strongly and to take meaningful action including imposing an international arms embargo and other targeted sanctions against the Burmese military regime.

“It's time for ASEAN, the UN, and concerned governments to match their words of condemnation with action,” said Adams, director of the HRW.

Adams, in a statement, said, “This trial was a farce, a brutal distortion of the legal process."

"By silencing prominent opponents through bogus trials, the generals are clearly showing why the elections they have been touting for next year won't bring change," it added.

Debbie Stothard, coordinator of Thailand-based Alternative Asean network on Burma (ALT-SEAN Burma) said with Aung San Suu Kyi being convicted, the international community should not endorse the military regime’s election to be held in 2010.

“Nobody should support the result of the 2010 election unless there is national reconciliation,” Stothard said.

“National reconciliation means the release of all political prisoners including Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic leaders and stop attacking ethnic nationalities groups and to have a constitutional review.”  

Similarly, the Burma Campaign United Kingdom (BCUK) in a statement on Tuesday joined the call to the Security Council to impose an arms embargo against the military regime in Burma.

The campaign’s International Coordinator Zoya Phan said, the junta by sentencing Aung San Suu Kyi is “directly defying the United Nations Security Council. It is time the generals faced the consequences for their actions and a global arms embargo should be imposed immediately”.


 

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