Myanmar court convicts pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi

August 11, 2009

Myanmar (ChattahBox) — A Myanmar (formerly Burma) kangaroo court has found pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kui guilty of violating her house arrest, but the head of the military-ruled country says she can serve out a 1½-year sentence under house arrest.  Suu Kyi was found guilty of violating the terms of her house arrest by harboring an American, John Yettaw, who swam across a lake to sneak uninvited into her compound. The 53-year-old man was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in prison with hard labor.

The court initially sentenced Suu Kyi on Tuesday to a three-year prison term, but after a short recess, the country’s home minister entered the courtroom and read aloud a special order from junta chief Than Shwe.  The order said Shwe was cutting the sentence in half to 1½ years and that it could be served under house arrest. The 64-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate, arguably the world’s most famous prisoner, has been isolated from the world in detention for 14 of the last 20 years, mostly under house arrest.  After the sentencing European leaders have demanded Suu Kyi be immediately and unconditional released, threatening stricter sanctions against the military regime.


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