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EU criticizes new conviction against Suu Kyi in Burma following «politically motivated trial»

News 360 logo News 360 12/30/2022 Daniel Stewart
Archive - Demonstration in Thailand against Burmese coup d'état - Chaiwat Subprasom/SOPA Images vi / DPA © Provided by News 360 Archive - Demonstration in Thailand against Burmese coup d'état - Chaiwat Subprasom/SOPA Images vi / DPA

The European Union (EU) on Friday criticized the new seven-year jail sentences against Burma's former 'de facto' leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the country's former president Win Myint and stressed that they are part of "a series of politically motivated trials" since the February 2021 coup d'état.

A spokesperson for the European External Action Service said that "these trials have been carried out without respecting due process procedures and without the necessary judicial guarantees" and added that "they are a clear attempt to exclude democratically elected leaders from political life."

"Win Myint and Aung San Suu Kyi face 12 and 33 years in prison, respectively, including three years of hard labor, which represents a new flagrant violation of human rights in Burma," he said in a statement.

It therefore stressed that the EU "strongly condemns these trials, the verdicts and the general dismantling of democracy and the rule of law in Burma," before reiterating that "only a genuine dialogue involving Suu Kyi, the National League for Democracy (NLD), the National League for Democracy (NLD), the National Unity Government (NUG) and the National Executive (NED) can bring about a genuine dialogue, the Government of National Unity - the parallel executive set up by the Nobel Peace Prize winner's party after the uprising -, civil society and all other relevant actors can lead to a way out of the deep crisis in the country and restore the path to democracy".

"The EU further expresses its deep concern about the large number of people arbitrarily detained and reiterates its urgent call for an immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners," said the spokesperson for the office headed by the EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.

Finally, he stated that "the actions of the military regime continue to show total disregard for human dignity and the will of the people". "The EU reiterates its full support for the efforts of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to promote a peaceful solution to the crisis in Burma, including an inclusive dialogue called for by the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus," he concluded.

Suu Kyi and Win Myint were convicted earlier Friday in a case related to the lease and purchase of helicopters for use in disaster management, although the charges are unclear because lawyers are barred from discussing the proceedings.

The coup was perpetrated by the army to annul the results of the November 2020 general election, in which the National League for Democracy (NLD) won a parliamentary majority on the grounds of fraud, a claim disputed by international observers.

The uprising was followed by a harsh crackdown on opponents, activists and protesters that has so far resulted in nearly 2,700 deaths and more than 16,600 detainees - including more than 13,100 who remain in custody - according to data published by the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP) through its Twitter account.

On the other hand, the initial protests against the coup have led to the formation of armed resistance groups and the reinforcement of ethnic militias already present in the country before the coup, which has caused an upsurge in fighting in several parts of the country, especially in the north.



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