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Myanmar says Soo Chi was held alone in a new prison

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The Associated Press

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Grant Peck

FILE - Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi briefs the media after a meeting with Norway Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg at the Norway government guest house in Oslo, Friday, June 15, 2012. Myanmar's military government, Thursday, June 3, 2022, confirmed that ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been moved from accommodations where she has been held for about a year to a prison compound, where she will have quarters separate from other detainees.
File-Myanmar Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi , On Friday, June 15, 2012, briefed in the media after meeting with Prime Minister Jensstrutenberg at the Norwegian Government Guest House in Oslo. Myanmar's junta confirmed the exiled leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday, June 3, 2022, she has a separate dormitory from other detainees from accommodation that had been detained for about a year. Moved to jail. Photo: Markus Schreiber/Associated Press

Bangkok (AP) —Myanmar's junta on Thursday The exiled leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, was transferred to a prison separate from other detainees.

Soo Chi was arrested on February 1, 2021, when the army seized power from an elected government. She was initially detained at her home in her capital, Naypyidaw, but she was later moved to at least one other place. For most of her past year, she has been detained in a private location in Naypyidaw, and she is generally considered to be at a military base.

Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun, a spokesman for the ruling military council, confirmed in a text message to journalists that Soo Chi was transferred to a major prison in Naipitau on Wednesday. She is in good condition. " News of her move was reported Wednesday, but has not been officially confirmed.

He said Soo Chi, who had already been convicted in several cases, was transferred to prison in accordance with the law.

Soo Chi's lawyer, who is familiar with her proceedings, said she was detained in a new building with three police officers obliged to assist her. .. Her ongoing trial will also be held in a prison at another newly constructed facility. Officials said on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorized to publish information about her case.

Soo Chi, who turned 77 on Sunday, was detained for about 15 years under her previous military regime, but virtually everything is at home in her parents' home in Yangon, the country's largest city. I was under house arrest.

The secret place she had been mostly detained for the past year was her residence. Another lawyer said she had nine people there to help her and was allowed to keep a dog, a gift arranged by one of her sons.

Officials said neither her assistant nor the dog had Soo Chi accompany her to her new prison.

Soo Chi has been tried on multiple charges, including her corruption. Her supporters say her accusations have been politically motivated to discredit her and justify her seize of military power.

She has already been sentenced to 11 years in prison for illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies, violating coronavirus restrictions, inciting, and counting the first number of corruption. increase.

The prison where Soo Chi is housed is just west of Naypyidaw. It was built in 2014 to temporarily detain detainees awaiting trial.

One of the legal authorities said the first hearing in Soo Chi's new prison court was held on Thursday in case of a breach of the Official Secrets Act.

Attorneys cross-examined three prosecution witnesses, but details of their testimony were not available. All Soo Chi cases were held in a private inquiry. Her lawyer is forbidden to discuss the proceedings.

Suu Kyi's co-defendants in this case are Australian economist Sean Turnell, who was her adviser, and three former cabinet members.

Turnell is also detained in the same prison as Suchi.

Soo Chi has been sentenced to 11 cases of corruption for up to 15 years in prison and up to 3 years for electoral fraud, respectively.

Last year's military takeover triggered a peaceful national protest that security forces were crushed by deadly forces, and armed resistance that some UN experts now consider to be a civil war. Caused.

The ruling military council said it plans to hold a new election around mid-next year if circumstances permit. However, critics warn that such polls are unlikely to be free and impartial.

Tom Andrews, a UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar, said Thursday that the military is working hard to "create an impression of legitimacy" after the expulsion of the Soo Chi administration.

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won a landslide victory in the November 2020 general election. The military claimed that polls had seized power because it was hurt by widespread fraud — the claim was not supported by independent election observers.

"The proposal for a possible free and fair election in Myanmar in 2023 is frankly ridiculous," Andrews said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. .. "If you detain your opponent, you cannot have a free and fair election."

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