The trial of ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi will begin today.
A court run by Myanmar’s ruling military junta—Tatmadaw—will hear initial arguments regarding the plethora of charges against Suu Kyi including accepting bribes, flouting COVID-19 restrictions and breaking a colonial-era secrecy law. Suu Kyi’s lawyers expect the trial to conclude by July 26.
Despite widespread international criticism, Suu Kyi will likely be convicted on most of the charges levied against her. Regardless, Tatmadaw leadership has made it clear they already consider Suu Kyi guilty.
This conviction is likely to spur more mass protests throughout the country, likely rivaling the scale of those which occurred in the aftermath of Tatmadaw’s February coup. In turn, a harsh military crackdown will likely follow, potentially imprisoning thousands and resulting in the death of hundreds. The conviction alone will likely prompt international condemnation, but if the suppression of protesters turns deadly— as it did in February— further pushback including the expansion of sanctions is likely. Any response bar international intervention is unlikely to prompt change from Tatmadaw, however. The imposition of Western sanctions and UN condemnation following February’s coup prompted little concern from Tatmadaw and any similar response will likely see comparable results.
Chris is a Content Editor and Analyst for the Daily Brief. His writing focuses on the political economies of North America, the United Kingdom and Oceania.