Myanmar’s ruling junta announced via state media MRTV on Tuesday a partial pardon of former leader Aung San Suu Kyi. As a result of the pardon, which impacted 5 of her 19 convictions, Suu Kyi’s 33-year prison sentence has been reduced by six years.
According to a CNN source, the five impacted convictions include defamation, natural disasters laws, exports and import laws as well as telecommunication laws violations. Suu Kyi is set to appeal some of her remaining 14 convictions before Myanmar’s Supreme Court over the next two weeks.
Earlier in July, a JURIST correspondent from Myanmar stated that the Supreme Court has already heard several appeals from Suu Kyi’s legal team, including challenges to her convictions based on the Myanmar Official Secret Act, the Election Act, the Anti-Corruption Law, the Natural Disaster Management Act, the Communication Act, the Export and Import Act as well as the Penal Code. JURIST’s correspondent wrote, “The orders issued by the Supreme Court have not been published, and only the families of the applicant and her lawyers have copies of the orders. Therefore, I am facing difficulties in obtaining the orders.”
Suu Kyi was previously convicted on 19 charges spanning election fraud, corruption and incitement. She has not pleaded guilty to any of the charges and continues to fight them in court. Besides Suu Kyi, the former president Win Myint was also granted a pardon on Tuesday. His jail term will be reduced by four years. It is likely that both Suu Kyi and Myint would remain in house arrest and would not be free from detention, according to a BBC source.
In February 2021, after Suu Kyi and her party won the country’s democratic election, the military junta accused Suu Kyi of election fraud and overthrew the government. Since then, Suu Kyi has been imprisoned on various charges.
Within the country, those who oppose the junta’s rule continue to find ways to speak out against human rights violations, which have also been condemned by the international community. A recent JURIST dispatch from Myanmar described how “[a]ny direct and indirect expressions of our opinions are strictly prohibited.” They said that even small acts of protest, such as wearing a red rose in support of Suu Kyi, could result criminal charges.