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Nobel peace prize winner sentenced to 26 years in prison

Nobel peace prize winner sentenced to 26 years in prison

Aung San Suu Kyi, former president of Myanmar, was charged with 12 counts under the anti-corruption act.

A Nobel peace prize winner has been sentenced to 26 years in prison.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been given an additional three years in addition to the 23 years she was already given.

Suu Kyi, 77, was once Myanmar’s leader but she was detained on 1 February 2021 when the military seized power from her elected government.

She was charged with 12 counts under the anti-corruption act and each act carries a 15-year prison sentence and a fine if found guilty.

Suu Kyi has denied the allegations after she was accused of accepting £497,000 as a bribe from a tycoon charged and convicted of drug trafficking.

Suu Kyi was arrested in February 2021.
TC / Alamy Stock Photo.

Prior to this allegation, she had been convicted of importing and possessing walkie-talkies illegally, violating coronavirus restrictions, election fraud, five corruption charges, breaching Myanmar’s official secrets act and sedition.

She has not been allowed to speak publicly since her arrest and a gag order was placed on her lawyers last year to stop them from speaking on her behalf.

On Wednesday (12 October) Suu Kyi was accused of receiving payments from construction magnate Maung Weik in 2019 and 2020, with each payment being treated as an offence.

Weik was granted a major property development project which consisted of the construction of new houses, restaurants, hospitals, economic zones, a port and hotel zones which would all be located in Myanmar's Mandalay region.

When the military took over, Weik was reportedly interrogated and in March 2021, a video was broadcasted in which he said he had given cash pay-offs to government ministers in aid of his businesses.

Protestors in support of Suu Kyi outside the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok.
SOPA Images Limited / Alamy Stock Photo.

Suu Kyi’s supporters and independent analysts have argued that the charges against her are politically motivated. They believe it is an effort to discredit her and allow the military to seize power.

Experts have said the convictions put a stop to Suu Kyi taking part in the next election, which the military has pledged to take place in 2023.

She is still being tried, along with Myanmar’s former president, Win Myint, on five more corruption charges in relation to permits granted to a Cabinet minister for the rental and purchase of a helicopter.

Suu Kyi’s opposition to military rule has lasted for more than three decades. She was put under house arrest in 1989 by the previous military government, which went carried on for 15 of the next 22 years, on-and-off.

She was given a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and her sons Alexander and Kim accepted the the award on her behalf.

Suu Kyi was given a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.
robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo

The statement – released on 14 October 1991 - by the Nobel Committee about awarding Suu Kyi the prize states: “The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 to Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar (Burma) for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights.

“Suu Kyi's struggle is one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades. She has become an important symbol in the struggle against oppression.

“In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 to Aung San Suu Kyi, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honour this woman for her unflagging efforts and to show its support for the many people throughout the world who are striving to attain democracy, human rights, and ethnic conciliation by peaceful means."

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won the 2015 general election, which marked the first time the country had a true civilian government since a military coup in 1962.

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Featured Image Credit: Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo / Alamy Stock Photo/ Shutterstock

Topics: News