Myanmar chides U.N. for bias, meddling after Suu Kyi conviction

By Reuters

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Dec 9 (Reuters) – Myanmar’s military government accused senior United Nations officials on Thursday of interference and making judgments based on “distorted news”, days after a storm of international criticism over the jailing of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi waits for the arrival of her delegation before the Japan Myanmar Summit meeting with Japan’s Prime Minster Shinzo Abe (not pictured) at Akasaka Palace State Guest House in Tokyo, Japan October 9, 2018. Nicolas Datiche/Pool via Reuters

U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet was among several officials who denounced the conviction on Monday of Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s elected leader who was ousted in a Feb. 1 coup.

“It is not appropriate to make one-sided judgment against the decision of the court which falls within the domestic jurisdiction of a sovereign country. Such acts constitute interference in the judiciary process and internal affairs of Myanmar,” the junta’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

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Suu Kyi, 76, was sentenced to four years, commuted to two, for incitement and COVID-19 violations, the first among nearly a dozen cases against her. She denies all the charges.

Of the verdict, the ministry said everyone was equal before the court and no one above the law.

Myanmar’s relationship with the international community has deteriorated sharply since the coup and ties with its closest diplomatic neighbours have been severely tested, with the junta ignoring calls to halt hostilities against civilians and political opponents that it call “terrorists”.

The foreign ministry criticised the president of the U.N. Security Council, the U.N. special rapporteur on Myanmar, the secretary-general’s spokesperson and the U.N.’s resident coordinator in Myanmar.

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Referring to a protest on Sunday at which five people were killed when security forces rammed a vehicle into the crowd, the ministry said state media had provided an accurate account of events, unlike the United Nations, which “deliberately referred to allegations and unverified online information”, it said.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly objects (to) such statements which interfere in domestic jurisdiction and rely on distorted news,” it said.

Reporting by Martin Petty; Editing by Nick Macfie Copyright Thomson Reuters

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