Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar’s jailed former leader moved from prison to house arrest, claims military junta

Myanmar’s jailed former leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has been moved from prison to house arrest, according to the country’s military junta.

Ms Suu Kyi's transfer comes as the army has suffered a string of major defeats against pro-democracy resistance fighters and their allies in ethnic minority guerrilla forces. The military say Ms Suu Kyi being moved is meant to be a precaution during a heat wave across the country – the city of Naypyitaw saw temperatures reaching 39C (102.2F) this week. But The National Unity Government [NUG] – an alliance of anti-junta groups – fear that Ms Suu Kyi could be moved to military base that may be targeted by the revolutionary forces.

It is understood that both Ms Suu Kyi, 78, and ousted president U Win Myint, 72, have both been moved from prison, though it is not clear where they have been taken. Before being sent to prison in the wake of the military coup in February 2021, Ms Suu Kyi was reportedly held in a military safe house inside an army base.

“There is a real risk that the junta will strategically position the State Counselor and the president at key military installations, thereby exposing them to potential targeting by the revolutionary forces,” Linn Thant, a represntative of the NUG said in a statement.

Ms Suu Kyi’s son, Kim Aris, has previously spoken to The Independent about his mother’s deteriorating health in prison, especially her gums. In February, he said that he had received the first confirmation that the Nobel Peace Prize winner is alive since she was arrested.

The letter stated that Ms Suu Kyi is suffering from dental health problems and osteoporosis, but assures him that she is otherwise generally well.

“I was overjoyed to actually see something in her handwriting, to know that she’s able to actually write, for starters, because I haven’t had any confirmation that she’s actually alive for all these years,” Mr Aris told Sky News.

Ms Suu Kyi was sentenced to 33 years in prison by the Myanmar military junta — which was later reduced to 27 years. The charges, which range from corruption to the ownership of illegally-imported walkie-talkies, have been widely condemned as politically motivated.

The NUG also called for the unconditional release of Ms Suu Kyi and U Win Myint.

“Moving them from prisons to houses is good, as houses are better than prisons. However, they must be unconditionally freed. They must take full responsibility for the health and security of Aung San Suu Kyi and U Win Myint,” spokesperson Kyaw Zaw said.

Speaking previously to The Independent, Oxford-born and UK-based Mr Aris said: “The fight to free my mother Aung San Suu Kyi from her illegal imprisonment in Burma [Myanmar] will never cease.

“She is a symbol of my country in her prison cell, a candle that flickers and will never disappear. She has given her life to find freedom for her country. I want to give new energy to her campaign by starting a new one here to make sure the call to end her incarceration will be heard louder across the globe.”

On Wednesday, the military junta also granted amnesty to more than 3,000 prisoners to mark this week’s traditional New Year holiday.