WASHINGTON, D.C.: United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced on Friday (Saturday in Manila) a new three-year sentence imposed on Myanmar's ousted elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and urged more pressure on the Southeast Asian country's junta.
"We strongly condemn the Burma military regime's unjust sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi to three more years of prison, including hard labor," Blinken said, using Myanmar's former name.
"We must work together to hold the regime accountable for its escalating violence and repression of democratically elected leaders in Burma," he added.
The latest sentence, handed down behind closed doors, takes the total jail time the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and democracy figurehead is facing to two decades.
The new sentence was over purported electoral fraud in 2020 polls that her party won by a landslide.
delivered to your inbox
The military deposed and detained her in a coup on Feb. 1, 2021 and has piled on a series of charges, including corruption, that her supporters say are trumped up.
The US and other Western nations have imposed a series of sanctions on Myanmar's junta since the coup, but with little effect.
Washington pledged further action after the junta executed in July four democracy activists, including former legislator Phyo Zeya Thaw from Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party. But it has held back from the key step of sanctions on its oil and gas industry amid opposition from Thailand, which imports energy from its neighbor.