Many of you will be saddened to hear that Burmese pro-democracy leader and Nobel peace laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced to an additional 18 months’ house arrest by a court in Rangoon. Ms Suu Kyi was convicted of violating state security laws by allowing a US national into her lakeside home after he swam there.
Ms Suu Kyi, 64, has spent nearly 14 of the past 20 years in detention. The verdict will prevent her from taking part in elections in 2010. Ms Suu Kyi was taken straight back to her home following the end of the trial. Her previous period of house arrest expired on 27 May.
American John Yettaw, who was also on trial, was jailed for seven years, four with hard labour. Mr Yettaw, 54, swam to Ms Suu Kyi’s lakeside house in Rangoon uninvited and stayed there for two nights in May.
As a result, Ms Suu Kyi was accused of breaching the terms of her house arrest and faced up to five years in prison.
Ms Suu Kyi’s two female house companions were also arrested with her. At the trial they also received the commuted sentence of 18 months house arrest.
Mr Yettaw is believed to have epilepsy, diabetes and post-traumatic stress disorder and has been treated at a Rangoon hospital. He was sentenced to three years in prison for breaching Ms Suu Kyi’s house arrest, three years with hard labour for an immigration offence and another one-year term with hard labour for swimming in a restricted zone. It was not clear if the prison terms would be served concurrently.
Reports say he was discharged from hospital on Monday night after a week of treatment for epileptic seizures.