Switzerland condemns jailing of former Myanmar leaders

Demonstrators call for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi during a protest in March. Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Switzerland has rebuked a military tribunal in Myanmar for sentencing the country’s overthrown democratic leaders to prison.

This content was published on December 6, 2021 - 18:08

On Monday, Myanmar’s former de facto Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint were handed four-year jail terms for inciting dissent and breaking Covid-19 rules.

The sentence against Suu Kyi was halved following widespread global condemnation of the trial. Both elected leaders were ousted by a military coup in February this year and have since been detained in the country.

The Swiss foreign ministry told the Keystone-SDA news agency that Switzerland condemned the military trial for displaying a “disregard for the rule of law". The statement added that “the illegally detained prisoners must be released and the transition to democracy must be resumed”.

Human rights groups fear that the trial on Monday is just the start of a series of verdicts that could see the ousted former leaders jailed for life.

In July, Switzerland extended sanction measures against the leaders of the military coup.

Eight individuals were added to the list of those targeted, including the attorney general, four ministers and three deputy ministers. They were banned from travelling to Switzerland and any assets they held in Swiss banks were ordered to be frozen.

Four entities, active in the gemstone and timber sectors, were also been added to the list that also includes the head of the Myanmar junta, General Min Aung, nine of the most senior members of the armed forces, as well as the chairman of the electoral commission.

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