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Political Prisoners in Russia and Myanmar

Governments worldwide have criticized recent actions by the current governments of Russia and Myanmar. Though the two situations are very different, in each case, a popular person has been charged with a crime in order to limit their power.

Alexei Navalny

On Tuesday, a Russian court sent Alexei Navalny to prison for two years and eight months. The move is meant to silence Mr. Navalny, the strongest critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

For years, Mr. Navalny has led protests against Mr. Putin and his government. The government and its agents have tried to silence Mr. Navalny in many ways, afraid that his movement could weaken Mr. Putin’s position.

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A Russian court has sent Alexei Navalny to prison for two years and eight months. The move is meant to silence Mr. Navalny, the strongest critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Above, Mr. Navalny appears on video before a court on January 28.

In 2014, Mr. Navalny was found guilty of embezzlement in a trial that was widely seen as unfair. He wasn’t put in jail then, but strict rules were made, limiting Mr. Navalny’s ability to travel.

In August, Mr. Navalny was flown to Germany for emergency medical treatment after being poisoned. Russia’s government is believed to be behind the poisoning. Mr. Navalny returned home knowing that he was likely to be arrested.

Soon after landing, Mr. Navalny was sent to jail. On Tuesday, a judge sent Mr. Navalny to prison for over 2.5 years for breaking his travel rules by staying in Germany too long. “They are putting one person behind bars to scare millions,” Mr. Navalny said.

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Thousands of people have been protesting the government’s treatment of Mr. Navalny. But Russian police are treating the protesters extremely harshly. Over 10,000 people have been arrested in the last few weeks.

Thousands of people have been protesting the government’s treatment of Mr. Navalny, and more came out following the news of Mr. Navalny’s long sentence.

But Russian police are treating the protesters extremely harshly. Over 10,000 people have been arrested in the last few weeks. It’s unclear if the movement will survive with its strongest leader locked in jail.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar remains under the control of the military following a coup on Monday, which removed the country’s elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi from power.

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Myanmar remains under the control of the military following a coup on Monday, which removed the country’s elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi from power. Above, military vehicles on city streets on Wednesday.

The military say they “had no choice” but to take action following last November’s elections, which they claim weren’t fair. In those elections, Ms. Suu Kyi’s party easily defeated the military’s political party. 

Many people believe the military took action because they were scared that Ms. Suu Kyi’s popularity with the people might weaken their power.

The military have declared a one-year state of emergency, and put the army’s leader, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing in charge. The military says it will hold “free and fair” elections after a year.

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In November’s elections, Ms. Suu Kyi’s party easily defeated the military’s political party. Many people believe the military took action because they were scared that Ms. Suu Kyi’s popularity with the people might weaken their power. Above, Ms. Suu Kyi in late January.

On Monday, hundreds of politicians, writers, and others across the country were detained, including Ms. Suu Kyi and the country’s president, U Win Myint. Since then, about 400 of those people have been released.

But Ms. Suu Kyi is now under house arrest. She and Mr. Win Myint have been charged with crimes, based on recent or little-known laws.

Ms. Suu Kyi’s political party has encouraged people to protest against the military’s actions.

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Many people have been protesting by honking horns, or by banging loudly on pots and pans on their balconies at night. Medical workers at about 70 hospitals and health centers across Myanmar have stopped working as a protest.

Many people have been protesting by honking horns, or by banging loudly on pots and pans on their balconies at night. Medical workers at about 70 hospitals and health centers across Myanmar have stopped working as a protest.

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