Paris [France], September 6 (ANI): France has condemned the new prison sentence, with hard labour, imposed on Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi last week was sentenced to three years in jail with hard labour after a court found her guilty of electoral fraud. A Zabuthiri Township judge handed down the sentence at a junta-controlled closed court in the Naypyitaw Detention Centre, News Agency, Myanmar Now reported.
Apart from Suu Kyi, and the other two leaders from the ousted civilian government, whose National League for Democracy (NLD) party won the 2020 election in a landslide, were accused of unfairly influencing the election commission, the report said.
The French government said that this new sentence is arbitrary and politically motivated, adding that it was delivered by a judicial system in the hands of generals and shows the junta's contempt for the rule of law and fundamental rights.
"The electoral fraud accusation on which the sentence is based aims only to justify the coup d'etat of 1 February 2021, which goes against the will of the Burmese people expressed democratically in the general election of 8 November 2020. This decision makes the prospect of political dialogue requested by the international community, in which Aung San Suu Kyi must be involved, even more distant," the French Diplomacy said in a statement.
In the same statement, France reiterated its call for the immediate, unconditional release of all those people being arbitrarily detained, including State Counsellor Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.
"It maintains its support for the action of ASEAN and its special envoy, and the efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General's special envoy, and recalls that the establishment of a political dialogue including the democratic opposition is an essential requirement for finding any way out of the crisis," the statement added.
Suu Kyi, 77, has already been sentenced to 17 years in prison for corruption and sedition charges.
Back in August, she was handed a six-year sentence for four corruption charges after the military accused her of abusing her position as party leader to benefit a private foundation named after her mother, Daw Khin Kyi, as well as an affiliated project.
Notably, the military detained Suu Kyi in February 2021 as it seized power in Myanmar.
Myanmar's military leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing is the one who led a coup against an elected civilian government in 2021 and detained Aung San Suu Kyi over alleged election irregularities.
In August last year, Min Aung Hlaing declared himself Prime Minister of a newly formed caretaker government. During an address to the nation on August 1, he repeated a pledge to hold elections by 2023.
More than 1,000 civilians have been killed by Myanmar security forces with thousands of others arrested, according to the United Nations, amid a crackdown on strikes and protests which has derailed the country's tentative democracy and prompted international condemnation.
In a recent update, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said the conflict has intensified over the past month, with increased reports of army raids across Myanmar, especially in the northwest and southeast regions. (ANI)