UN, rights advocates criticise Myanmar junta’s move from house arrest to prison

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UN, rights advocates criticise Myanmar junta’s move from house arrest to prison

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi took part in the Martyrs Day ceremony in Yangon, Myanmar in 2019. She was arrested last year in a coup.

The United Nations and human rights advocates criticized the move from house arrest and urged the regime to free herself and all other political prisoners.

The military junta that seized power last year said that the ousted civilian leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has been transferred from house arrest to prison and is being held in solitary confinement. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been convicted of half a dozen charges and sentenced to 11 years in prison, faces 13 more counts with a maximum sentence of more than 180 years. The Nobel Peace Laureate, who turned 77 on Sunday, has embodied the country's struggle for democracy and faces the possibility of spending the rest of her life in prison if the military regime remains in power.

"We are very worried about these latest developments, which go against everything we ve been calling for," Guterres spokesman St phane Dujarric said on Thursday. Myanmar's generals, who have ruled the country for more than 50 years, began relaxing their grip more than a decade ago, and in 2016 began sharing power with Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi after her party, the National League for Democracy, won national elections. She led her party to landslide election victories three times over the last three decades, but was allowed to join in governing the country only once. On the morning of February 1, 2021, just as she and her followers were set to be sworn in for another term, the military regained power and arrested many party leaders. The coup triggered nationwide protests and a brutal crackdown by the military, known as the Tatmadaw. More than 2,000 civilians have been killed by soldiers and police — shooting many of them dead in the streets — and detention of more than 11,200 political prisoners, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

In the past few weeks, the junta has threatened to execute democracy activists held for opposing the regime, including U Kyaw Min Yu, better known as Ko Jimmy, and opposition lawmaker U Phyo Zayar Thaw, a former hip-hop artist. Both were sentenced to death in January under Myanmar's counterterrorism law, during trials that were closed to the public. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, daughter of Myanmar's independence hero, Gen. Aung San, spent more than 15 years under house arrest before her release in 2010. She was locked up for brief periods in the notorious Insein Prison during that time. She had been held under house arrest in unidentified locations near Naypyidaw, the capital until Wednesday, when she was transferred to a prison in the city. The move came after workers finished building a new courtroom in the prison. According to the law, she was transferred from house arrest to the prison on June 22, according to Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun, a junta spokesman. She is being treated well and is in solitary confinement in prison. A person close to Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, said she was in good health but was forced to leave behind her beloved dog, Taichito, a gift from her younger son. Prison officials said Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi was expected to wear a prison uniform and to follow prison rules.