Manan Vatsyayana/AFP via Getty Images
A military-run court in Myanmar has sentenced Aung San Suu Kyi and an Australian economic adviser to three years in prison for breaching the Official Secrets Act.
Suu Kyi and Australian Sean Turnell were on trial together in the case, although Suu Kyi had already been convicted on several other counts and sentenced to more than 20 years.
Turnell had been an economic adviser to Suu Kyi when the elected government she led was overthrown by the military in February 2021. Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong today rejected the court ruling and called for a Turnell’s “immediate release”. She also said Australian consular officials have been denied access to the court in Myanmar’s capital, Naypyitaw.
Human rights groups and Western governments are calling the lawsuits against Suu Kyi, former prime minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner, politically motivated – aimed at keeping her permanently out of politics.
Myanmar’s military rulers overthrew the elected civilian government in February 2021, imprisoning many Suu Kyi and many other senior government officials. The junta carried out the first executions in the country in decades in July, including the hanging of two democracy activists.