In Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi prosecuted for “electoral fraud” during the legislative elections of 2020

The Burmese junta is still tightening its judicial grip around Aung San Suu Kyi. Generals charge 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, overthrown in February, with “electoral fraud” in 2020 legislative elections, newspaper reported Global New Light of Myanmar, controlled by the regime, without giving further details, Tuesday, November 16.

Fifteen other officials, including former President Win Myint, also arrested during the coup d’état of 1is February, will be prosecuted for the same offense.

The junta justifies its passage in force by assuring to have discovered more than 11 million irregularities during the elections of November 2020, won hands down by the National League for Democracy (LND), the party of Aung San Suu Kyi. But no one had been charged for it so far. At the time, international observers qualified the election as “Globally free and fair”.

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New elections by August 2023

Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing threatened to dissolve the NLD, the main opposition force in Burma. He assured that new elections would be organized by August 2023.

“The junta uses spurious allegations of electoral fraud to justify its coup”Richard Horsey, analyst at the International Crisis Group, told Agence France-Presse. “Aung San Suu Kyi and his party had overwhelming support from voters, the guilty verdicts will not convince anyone. “

This new indictment of the former leader, under house arrest for more than nine months, comes the day after the release of American journalist Danny Fenster, pardoned after more than six months of detention on the eve of a trial where he risked a conviction. life imprisonment for terrorism. He was deported to the United States.

Aung San Suu Kyi, 76, has been on trial since June for a multitude of offenses – illegal importation of walkie-talkies, sedition, corruption, incitement to public disturbance … She is also accused of having violated the rules of restrictions against the Covid -19. A first verdict is expected on December 14 in this part of the case. She faces long years in prison if found guilty. At the end of October, Win Htein, an 80-year-old close collaborator, was sentenced to twenty years in prison for treason.

Press muzzled by the junta

Media are not allowed to attend the closed-door trial of Aung San Suu Kyi before a special court in the capital Naypyidaw. The junta also banned its legal team from speaking to the press and international organizations.

The February coup put an end to a democratic transition that had started ten years earlier. Since then, the soldiers have led a bloody crackdown on their opponents: more than 1,250 civilians have been killed and nearly 7,300 people are in detention, according to a local NGO, the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners. She reported cases of torture, rape and extrajudicial executions.

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The press is muzzled by the junta, which tries to strengthen its control of information, limiting access to the Internet and revoking media licenses. More than a hundred journalists have been arrested in recent months, according to the ASEAN Reporting association. Thirty-one of them are still in detention.

The World with AFP

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In Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi prosecuted for “electoral fraud” during the legislative elections of 2020