The US on Monday slammed the "unjust conviction" of Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi and called for her to be released along with other elected officials.
"The Burmese (Myanmar) military regime’s unjust conviction of Aung San Suu Kyi and the repression of other democratically elected officials are yet further affronts to democracy and justice in Burma," said State Secretary Antony Blinken in a statement, using an older name for Myanmar.
"The regime’s continued disregard for the rule of law and its widespread use of violence against the people of Myanmar underscore the urgency of restoring Burma’s path to democracy," he added.
Earlier on Monday, a military court in Myanmar convicted Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, sentencing her to four years in prison on charges of violating COVID-19 restrictions and incitement.
Blinken urged Myanmar to release Suu Kyi and "all those unjustly detained, including other democratically elected officials".
"We reiterate our call for the regime to engage in constructive dialogue with all parties to seek a peaceful resolution in the interest of the people, as agreed to in the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus," said Blinken, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
On Feb. 1, Myanmar's military junta seized power after allegations of fraud in the November 2020 general elections and political tension in the country.
The army arrested leaders and officials of the ruling National League for Democracy party, including de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and declared a one-year state of emergency.
According to the Myanmar-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), more than 1,100 people have been killed and over 9,000 demonstrators arrested in the military’s brutal crackdown on mass protests and rebellion against their rule./aa