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Regional Envoy Calls for Myanmar's Suu Kyi to be Spared Jail Time


FILE - Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi leaves the International Criminal Court after the first of three days of hearings in The Hague, the Netherlands, Dec. 10, 2019.

A regional envoy for the crisis in Myanmar has urged the country's military leaders to return deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi to house arrest from her prison cell in solitary confinement.

Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, envoy for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), issued the appeal Monday ahead of his second trip to Myanmar.

In a letter to Myanmar's military leaders, he urged them to "exercise compassion and facilitate the return of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to the home where she was originally detained, in consideration of her fragile health and well-being."

Military authorities moved Suu Kyi last week from an undisclosed location to a prison in the capital, Naypyitaw, and placed her in solitary confinement.

"We all share the view that a peaceful national reconciliation cannot be expected when one party to the conflict is taken out of the resolution equation," Sokhonn said in his letter.

Myanmar's military spokesperson Major General Zaw Min Tun told VOA Burmese that Suu Kyi was charged in criminal matters.

"No one is above the law," he said, adding that Suu Kyi is staying in prison "separate from other inmates, and comfortably."

Suu Kyi has been charged with a range of crimes, including corruption, since her government was overthrown by the military in February 2021. She has denied all charges.

ASEAN has led stalled diplomatic efforts to resolve the political fallout from last year's coup, which ousted Suu Kyi's government and sparked widespread protests.

Sokhonn last traveled to Myanmar in March. He is visiting the country again on Wednesday.

VOA’s Burmese service contributed to this report. Some information in this report came from Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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