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Myanmar Nobel laureate criticised for comments about crimes against humanity as she still faces trial for visa refusal
Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi faces two years in jail after her sentence is halved
Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi has been told she faces up to two years in jail after receiving a suspended sentence for a misdemeanour count of immigration violation, despite criticism from rights groups.
A lower court in Myanmar’s commercial capital Yangon ruled on Friday that the Nobel laureate would not be sentenced to anything longer than six months, but accused her of displaying negligence in her travel and residence.
The court ordered a lower court to prosecute her again over the disputed stay in Yangon’s infamous Insein prison, which could put her back behind bars if found guilty.
It’s understood Suu Kyi will appeal against the sentence.
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She travelled to Myanmar by train from Thailand in August last year to become the de facto leader of the world’s only remaining one-person, one-party democracy.
She took charge after the military ceded power in March 2015, after decades of brutal military rule.
But Suu Kyi has increasingly come under fire in the past year for comments she made about atrocities against minority Rohingya Muslims, who the Rohingya accuse of human rights abuses.
Her comments have incensed human rights groups, and more recently, Aung San Suu Kyi faces the prospect of new criticism for a court battle brought by supporters to have some of her political opponents tried for treason.
The Oxford-educated lawmaker was originally found guilty of illegally staying at Yangon’s Insein prison, the same facility from which she was briefly sentenced for breaching immigration laws in 2012 when she was an opposition leader.
Suu Kyi was fined just $500 in addition to paying a $7000 fine to Yangon police.
Her subsequent trips to Insein again prompted a court to put Suu Kyi on trial – again for immigration breaches – even though the official visa she applied for expired in November 2014.
A previous case against Suu Kyi for breaching immigration laws for visiting her detained sons in Britain without a valid visa was dropped, after the government bowed to pressure from her close international allies, including the US, in 2015.
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But the high-profile trial – dubbed a trial of the century – has shed new light on the country’s judicial system, still the subject of severe criticism for large-scale human rights abuses since the military took over in 1962.