Ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced to four years in prison

Ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced to four years in prison after being convicted of two charges, marking the first verdicts in a string of cases against her.

Suu Kyi, 76, was found guilty of inciting public unrest and breaching COVID-19 protocols, according to The New York Times, which added that the latter charge is connected to a moment on the campaign trail when a masked Suu Kyi, who was also wearing a face shield, stood outside and waved to supporters who were moving by in their vehicles.

In a video of the moment cited by the newspaper, Suu Kyi is seen standing at a distance from her aides and security staff, who were also wearing masks.

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Suu Kyi has been charged with a total of 11 counts, according to the Times, and could be sentenced to prison for 102 years if she is found guilty on all charges. She is also charged with engaging in corruption, in some instances for allegedly accepting cash and gold bribes, and violating the Official Secrets Act, which outlaws sharing state information that could benefit an enemy.

Suu Kyi was ousted by a military coup in February, and is now being held in an undisclosed location by the military, according to The Associated Press. It was not immediately clear on Monday if she would be detained in a prison or if some form of house arrest would be ordered.

The closed-door trial for Suu Kyi in Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar, has been labeled politically motivated by both the United Nations and various foreign governments, the Times noted. 

All five of Suu Kyi’s lawyers have reportedly been told by the military leaders that they are not allowed to talk to the news media because their comments could “destabilize the country.”

Supporters of the ousted leader are asserting that the charges against Suu Kyi are being fabricated to permanently keep her out of politics, according to the Times.

Additionally, other critics of the trial are contending that the proceedings are another bid by the military officials to reverse the democratic advancements that were secured in recent years, the AP reported.