The conviction of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint by a Myanmar military tribunal is a travesty of justice and constitutes further evidence of the military’s control over the judiciary, said the ICJ today.
A military controlled Court convicted Aung San Suu Kyi and Win Myint and sentenced them to four years of imprisonment on charges of incitement public unrest against the military and violating Covid-19 restrictions. The sentences were later commuted to two years. The two face several other charges, including corruption and sedition, that together could carry sentences of more than 100 years. Verdicts on some of these charges are expected on 13 December.
“Like hundreds of other political prisoners in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi has been condemned under absurd charges, based on secret evidence that is not contestable before the court that does not allow for a proper defense,” said Mandira Sharma, ICJ’s Asia Senior Legal Advisor.
The ICJ emphasized that the military controlled Court could not be considered to be a competent tribunal established by law and fairly administer justice.
Hundreds of other detainees face the same unfair process, with many charged on similarly baseless grounds. Although the judiciary in Myanmar was already weak because of the influence of the military in appointment process, it is completely destroyed since the military usurped power illegally through the coup on 1 February 2020. All basic tents of a fair trial, such as access to a lawyer, the possibility for detainees to examine the evidence against them in legal proceedings, and the right to be tried by an independent judiciary have been removed.
‘These sham convictions should be quashed and all illegal arrests, unfounded charges and unfair trials must be immediately stopped and the State Counselor, President and other political prisoners should be immediately released,’ Sharma said.
Mandira Sharma, Senior International Legal Advisor, South Asia and Myanmar, t: +9779851048475; e: mandira.sharma(a)icj.orgNewsPress releases