Myanmar

Ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been found guilty of inciting dissent and breaking Covid rules, in the first of a series of verdicts that could see her jailed for life.

Her sentence has been reduced from four years to two years.

Ms Suu Kyi faces 11 charges in total and denies them all. They have been widely condemned as unjust.

She has been in detention since a military coup in February toppled her elected civilian government.

Ms Suu Kyi was handed the four year sentence by a court on Monday morning, but junta chief Min Aung Hlaing later reduced it to two years.

It is not clear when or if Ms Suu Kyi will be placed in prison. She is being held at an undisclosed location.

Co-defendant Win Myint, the former president and Ms Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party ally, was also jailed on Monday for four years under the same charges.

UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet condemned the “sham trial” and said it would only “deepen rejection of the coup”.

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, meanwhile, called on Myanmar to release all political prisoners and allow a return to democracy.

“The arbitrary detention of elected politicians only risks further unrest,” she said.

And rights group Amnesty called the charges “bogus”, saying it was the “latest example of the military’s determination to eliminate all opposition and suffocate freedoms in Myanmar”.

Ms Suu Kyi is next due in court on 14 December, when she will face charges of possessing illegal walkie-talkies.

The 76-year-old has been slapped with an array of charges, including several counts of corruption and violating the official secrets act.

In one case, Ms Suu Kyi was convicted of violating Covid restrictions for campaigning during last year’s election – she had waved to supporters while wearing a mask and face shield.

In the other she was found guilty of inciting unrest for a statement calling for public opposition to the coup, put out by her party after she had already been taken into custody.

Ms Suu Kyi’s lawyers, who had been the sole source of information on the legal proceedings, have also been served with gag orders forbidding them from releasing information.

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