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8 December 2021

Myanmar’s last democratic leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung Sun Suu Kyi is set to serve two years in prison after the military junta halved the court’s sentence, following international backlash and riots on the streets.

Suu Kyi, who is the daughter of the Myanmar independence movement’s leader, was put on trial by the military for a host of charges that includes incitement against the military regime, corruption, and breach of Covid-19 restrictions, the Independent reported.

Suu Kyi’s sentence was halved via partial pardon from general-turned-Chairman Min Aung Hlaing shortly after the original sentence was handed down by a Myanmar court, according to the ABC.

A military coup in February established the State Administration Council and deposed Suu Kyi’s civilian government over allegations of election irregularities.

The National Unity Government, which consists of civilian leaders elected in November 2021 and was officially recognised by the EU as the legitimate government of Myanmar, has condemned the junta’s decision, alongside the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, the United States, and the United Kingdom, the Independent reported.

The EU also called for State Administration Council to release all political prisoners, including Suu Kyi, the Guardian reported.

The NUG’s Minister for Human Rights took to Twitter to condemn the SAC and suggested that this trial was carried out by criminals.

Diplomats from Association of Southeast Asian Nations were prevented by the SAC from meeting with Suu Kyi, prompting ASEAN to bar Hlaing from their meetings, according to the Guardian.

The day before the court handed down Suu Kyi’s sentence, the Myanmar military drove a truck into pro-democracy protests, killing five and injuring many others, according to Al Jazeera.

Suu Kyi is expected to face further trials, which have the potential to increase her sentence, the BBC reported.

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Stuart Jeffery, aka LibertyDownUnder, is the founder of the Australian Liberty Network. He is also the host of the Gumtree of Liberty and Gumtree of Liberty Live podcasts, and is editor of the Liberty Review. Stuart is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts, majoring in international relations, at the University of Southern Queensland.

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