Thursday, 14 November 2019

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Suu Kyi’s appeal rejection condemned

(Mizzima) – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Friday said he is ‘appalled and saddened’ that Burma’s military government has rejected an appeal filed by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyers against her sentencing in August 2009.

“I am appalled and saddened that Aung San Suu Kyi’s appeal against the sentence imposed by the regime has been denied,” Brown said. However, he said the “failed appeal is sadly no surprise.”

Brown said from start to end the sole purpose of the show trial has been to prevent Aung San Suu Kyi from taking part in elections that the junta claims will be held later this year.

Lawyers of the Burmese opposition leader on Friday told Mizzima that the Supreme Court rejected the appeal against the verdict that sentenced Aung San Suu Kyi and her two live-in party mates to 18 months of house arrest handed down in August 2009.

“The Supreme Court said it is making no changes on the verdict and upholds the lower court’s decision,” said Nyan Win, a lawyer for the Burmese pro-democracy leader who is also a spokesperson for her party – National League for Democracy (NLD).

The NLD leader was sentenced in August 2009 to three years imprisonment for allegedly violating regulations of her previous house arrest by allowing an American, John Yettaw, who sneaked into her house to stay for two nights.

The sentence handed down by a district court, however, was reduced by a special order from Burma’s military Head-of-State Senior General Than Shwe to an 18 month suspended sentence, allowing time to be served at her lakeside home.

The British Prime Minister said while Burma with a free, fair and genuinely inclusive election this year could move forward to map a new path, with Aung San Suu Kyi being kept out of political life and over 2,100 other prisoners of conscience remaining incarcerated, the regime’s elections will gain neither recognition nor international legitimacy.

Similarly, British Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis in a statement on Friday said the rejection of the appeal is a further, sad indictment of the Burmese regime.

“The military government continues to suppress all dissent, deny Burma's people their fundamental freedoms, and detain democratic and ethnic leaders,” Lewis said.

“I urge the regime to recognize that in a country of over one hundred ethnic groups, there can be no national reconciliation, no peace and no prosperity without an inclusive political process,” Lewis added.

The defense team argued that the law under which Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced is no longer valid and filed petitions at the Division and Supreme Court levels to that effect.

Nyan Win said the defense team is now gearing up to file yet another petition at the special petitions office.

Reporting by Phanida, writing by Mungpi


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