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Corruption: Myanmar’s military authorities charge deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar: Suu Kyi is being accused of breaking the official secret act by accepting cash and gold in bribes and faces up to 15 years in jail if found guilty. She faces six other charges relating to alleged illegal imports of walkie-talkies and inciting public unrest.

It also alleged that the previous civilian government, the National League for Democracy (NLD) had lost significant sums of money in land deals. Besides Suu Kyi, several other former officials face similar corruption and bribery charges.

Suu Kyi is a Burmese politician, diplomat, author, and a 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate who served as State Counsellor of Myanmar (equivalent to a prime minister) and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2016 to 2021. She has served as the chairperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD) since 2011, having been the general secretary from 1988 to 2011.

In July 1989, the newly named Union of Myanmar (since 2011, Republic of the Union of Myanmar) placed Suu Kyi under house arrest in Yangon (Rangoon). The junta once again placed Suu Kyi under house arrest from September 2000 to May 2002 to violate restrictions by attempting to travel outside Yangon.

On 1 February 2021, Suu Kyi was arrested and deposed by the Myanmar military and other leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party, after the Myanmar military declared the November 2020 general election results fraudulent. But independent election monitors said that the election was largely free and fair, and the charges against Suu Kyi have been widely criticized as politically motivated.

The coup targets widespread demonstrations and Myanmar’s military has brutally cracked down on pro-democracy protesters. According to the monitoring group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), they have killed more than 800 people and detained nearly 5000 to date.

Restrictions began loosening from 2010 onwards, leading to free elections in 2015 and the installation of a government led by veteran opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi the following year. On Thursday, a press release by the military council said Suu Kyi had accepted $US600,000 in bribes and seven pieces of gold.


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