To the surprise of very few, a court in Myanmar has found Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi guilty of violating internal security laws and given a three-year prison term. As a theatrical coda to the ruling, the military regime immediately cut the sentence to 18 months of house arrest — to demonstrate its humanitarian impulses. The world must condemn this transparent attempt to sideline the most potent popular political force in Myanmar and governments must take active measures to punish those responsible.
This farce began in early May, when an American visitor, Mr. John Yettaw, swam across a lake behind Mrs. Suu Kyi’s home and forced his way into her villa, claiming that God had told him she was going to be assassinated by terrorists. Mr. Yettaw, a veteran of the Vietnam war who is said to suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome, had tried to visit Ms. Suu Kyi the previous November but was turned away at the door. This time he pled exhaustion and was permitted to sleep in the house for two days.
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