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Myanmar junta: Aung San Suu Kyi transferred to house arrest amid heatwave

Myanmar’s former leader Aung San Suu Kyi, held since the 2021 coup, has been shifted to house arrest by the junta due to health concerns during a heatwave. Resistance demands her unconditional release.



MYANMAR: Myanmar’s former leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been incarcerated since the military coup in 2021, has been relocated from prison to house arrest due to concerns about her health amid a severe heatwave, according to military officials.

Major General Zaw Min Tun informed foreign media on Tuesday (16 April) that Aung San Suu Kyi, along with other elderly and infirm inmates, was moved from prison as a precautionary measure against heatstroke.

The decision was prompted by the extreme temperatures, with Naypyidaw recording 39 degrees Celsius (102.2 degrees Fahrenheit) on Tuesday, according to Myanmar’s meteorological department.

“Since the weather is extremely hot, it is not only for Aung San Suu Kyi … For all those, who need necessary precautions, especially elderly prisoners, we are working to protect them from heatstroke,” Major General Zaw said in comments to the media.

Aung San Suu Kyi, 78, has been serving a 27-year prison sentence in Naypyidaw, while the president of her ousted government, Win Myint, was serving an eight-year sentence in Taungoo.

Both sentences were imposed on what supporters and rights groups contend are politically motivated charges.

Her son, Kim Aris, previously disclosed that she had been held in solitary confinement, although reports suggesting she had been placed under house arrest last July were refuted as disinformation by Aris.

Despite international pressure and sanctions from several countries, including the United States, European Union, and the United Kingdom, calling for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners, the military junta has remained steadfast in its grip on power.

Meanwhile, an armed resistance movement, aligned with the National Unity Government (NUG) formed by politicians supportive of Aung San Suu Kyi, has intensified its efforts against the military rule.

Responding to news of Aung San Suu Kyi’s transfer to house arrest, a spokesperson for the NUG reiterated calls for her unconditional release, emphasizing that while the move was a positive step, it did not absolve the military of its responsibility for her well-being and security.

In a separate development, the military announced an amnesty for over 3,000 prisoners ahead of the traditional Thingyan New Year holiday.

However, it remains uncertain whether this includes pro-democracy activists and political detainees arrested during protests against the junta.

Mass pardons during holidays are common in Myanmar, but concerns persist over the fate of those detained for opposing military rule.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), as of 12 April, around 20,351 individuals remained in detention for their anti-military activities.

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