A military court in Myanmar has ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and sentenced her former adviser to three years in prison for violating the country’s Official State Secrets Act, a source familiar with the court proceedings confirmed to CNN.
Thursday’s sentence is the latest in a series of sentences handed down to the 77-year-old Nobel laureate, which means he will be sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Suu Kyi’s former economic adviser, Australian Sean Turnell, was also sentenced to three years in prison for breaching state secrets, a charge he and Suu Kyi denied. Turnell, an economist at Sydney’s Macquarie University, served as a special economic adviser to the former leader and his cabinet.
Suu Kyi was first accused in 2021 of breaking the secrecy law. He has denied all the charges against him and his supporters have said that the charges are political. Earlier this month, Suu Kyi was sentenced to three years of hard labor for election fraud.
Since the military junta seized power in Myanmar in a coup early last year, rights groups and observers say freedoms and rights in the country have deteriorated. State executions have returned and the number of documented violent attacks on schools by the military has increased, according to non-governmental organizations.
Thursday’s ruling comes after Vicky Bowman, the UK’s former ambassador to Myanmar between 2002 and 2006, was arrested last month.
Along with her husband, Bowman was charged with immigration offenses and sent to Yangon’s notorious Insein Prison.
This week, a Myanmar beauty queen who fled to Thailand after speaking out against the junta avoided deportation to her home country. He is now in Canada where he plans to apply for asylum.
And Ma Htet Htet Khine, a journalist who worked for the BBC’s international charity BBC Media Action, received an additional three years’ hard labor on Tuesday after being arrested and instigated under the junta government in 2021.
Experts have expressed concern for his well-being in custody and personal safety.