Dealing a new blow to detained Myanmar democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the military junta has ordered that she be moved to Naypyitaw Prison on Wednesday from an undisclosed location where she has been under house arrest, according to sources close to the matter.
She will be held in solitary confinement in a small isolated building within the prison, the sources said.
The Myanmar Police Force’s Special Branch informed Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her lawyers of the transfer during a hearing on Tuesday at a special court in Naypyitaw, where she has been tried on more than a dozen charges filed by the regime.
The reason for the transfer wasn’t clear yet.
The regime has held Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who turned 77 on Sunday, under house arrest since the coup in February last year. It moved her to an unknown location in Naypyitaw in April 2021.
Under the previous military regime she spent 15 years under house arrest, ending in 2011.
It will be the second time she has been incarcerated in a prison. In 2009, the previous regime transferred Daw Aung San Suu Kyi from her home to Yangon’s Insein Prison for four months for violating the rules of her house arrest after an American intruded onto her property.
After her move to Naypyitaw Prison on Wednesday, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s ongoing trials will be conducted at a special court inside the prison. So far the regime court has sentenced her to 11 years in prison.
If found guilty on all counts, she will spend the rest of her life behind bars, as the charges carry a combined sentence of more than 100 years.
Since her house arrest last year, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been assisted by seven people detained with her, and has had the companionship of her dog.
It was not clear whether her aides would be released upon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s transfer to the prison.
The move to the prison has prompted concerns about Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s wellbeing, especially given her old age.
On Wednesday, Myanmar’s detained President U Win Myint was also reportedly moved to Naypyitaw Prison from house arrest. The Irrawaddy was unable to independently confirm the report, however.