Myanmar’s military took control of the country in a coup in February of last year. Coup leaders removed and arrested the country’s elected leaders. Many people think the military was scared that the popularity of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi would weaken their power. The military claimed that the elections of November, 2020, which Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won easily, weren’t fair.
The coup led to a large protest movement, which has continued since last February. The military has responded harshly to the protests, leading to the deaths of nearly 1,500 civilians.
After Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi and others were arrested, the military accused them of many different “crimes”. Most people believe these charges are being used as a tool by the military. In December, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi was given a sentence of four years on other charges, but that sentence was later cut in half.
On Monday, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to four more years on new charges. She was charged with having a pair of walkie-talkies in her office, which the military claimed broke the country’s rules about devices that can be used for communications.
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Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi was also charged with breaking the country’s Covid-19 rules. That was because she waved to supporters in their cars while she stood outside, wearing a mask and face shield.
Though the charges may not seem serious, they show that the country’s military is willing to use almost any method to limit Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s freedom. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi has been accused of at least seven other “crimes” which could possibly lead to a total sentence of up to 89 years.
Before she became Myanmar’s leader, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi had already spent 15 years under arrest by the military.
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