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Myanmar’s junta slams opponents with jail sentences of as much as 225 years — Radio Free Asia

Myanmar’s navy junta has imposed jail sentences of as much as 225 years on almost 20 of its political opponents since taking energy in a coup early final yr, sending a transparent warning to anybody who would possibly dare problem its rule.

The prisoners are both anti-coup activists, insurgent fighters or members of the deposed Nationwide League for Democracy – as soon as led by former State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi – which received landslide victories in 2015 and 2020 elections earlier than the navy took management in February 2021. 

They’ve been convicted of terrorism and incitement – expenses that navy authorities say deserve harsh sentences. None of them have been shorter than 20 years. 

Their legal professionals say the sentences are a gross violation of their human rights – and of justice itself – and political retribution for talking out towards navy rule.

“The unjust punishments are a part of a lame try and plant concern within the minds of the folks and hamper the revolution,” stated Kyaw Zaw, a spokesman for shadow Nationwide Unity Authorities President Duwa Lashi La. “It exhibits that the rule of regulation in Myanmar is totally out of hand.”

Fundamental judicial rules maintain that each decide who delivers a verdict in courtroom is anticipated to contemplate a good steadiness of crime and punishment, and impose punishments that not solely defend society however are additionally supposed to right the habits of the legal, and to chorus from handing down spiteful punishments.

“Punishing somebody for greater than what she or he deserves is … a human rights violation,” stated Ko Tun, a member of the Myanmar-based NGO Human Rights Initiative. “Handing down extraordinarily lengthy jail sentences after arbitrary arrests is similar as killing a prisoner or mentally executing them.”


A listing of prolonged sentences

Suu Kyi, 77, has been charged with 19 counts since her arrest shortly after the coup. She has been sentenced to a complete of 26 years in jail for 14 of them. As soon as an icon of democracy in Myanmar, Suu Kyi was detained in 1989 beneath the navy State Peace and Growth Council authorities and spent almost 15 of the following 21 years beneath home arrest till her launch in 2010. 

Final month, the final 5 remaining circumstances of corruption, associated to the shopping for and leasing of a helicopter, had been filed towards her at a jail courtroom within the capital, Naypyidaw. They comply with her sentencing, every week earlier, to 3 years every for 2 corruption expenses involving accepting cash from a businessman – sentences which she is to serve concurrently.

Final month, two members of the anti-junta Individuals’s Protection Pressure paramilitary group got sentences beneath the nation’s Counter-Terrorism Legislation that far exceeded their anticipated lifespan.

Kyaw Thet, 30, was given 225 years, and Hnin Maung, 36, was given 95 years. They had been additionally sentenced to dying, that means they might seemingly face execution in coming months.

The identical day, one other courtroom sentenced Win Myint Hlaing, a 52-year-old former NLD lawmaker, to 148 years in jail following his conviction on eight terrorism expenses. He had already been convicted earlier of 5 expenses associated to incitement and terrorism, and sentenced to 25 years in jail, bringing his complete jail time period to 173 years. Sources advised RFA that a number of the incidents for which he was convicted most just lately came about whereas he was already in jail.

Former NLD Chief Minister for Kayin State Nang Khin Htwe Myint, 67, was given a 80-year time period late final yr for election fraud, corruption and state defamation, though that was later commuted to 40 years – nonetheless seemingly past her lifespan.

Than Naing, 65, a former NLD cupboard member, was sentenced to 90 years in jail on six separate counts of corruption and state defamation.

The chief of an anti-junta strike within the Tanintharyi area, Tun Tun Oo, was sentenced to 46 years. Tun Bone Myint Myat, a 23-year-old scholar, was given a 44-year time period.

And Aye Aye Aung, a member of the NLD within the Magway area, bought 40 years.

“Fashionable societies can not settle for sentences that exceed human lifespan,” stated one authorized knowledgeable in Myanmar who spoke to RFA on situation of anonymity citing concern of reprisal. “These sentences will depart a darkish stain on Myanmar’s judicial document.”

Translated by Myo Min Aung. Written in English by Joshua Lipes. Edited by Malcolm Foster.



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