Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s deposed civilian leader, appeared in court on Monday for the start of a weeks-long trial that is almost certain to find her guilty of politically motivated charges.
The 75-year-old is now facing a predicament worse than her 15 years under house arrest, persecuted by a military junta that is determined to keep her isolated as anger and protests rage across the country.
Suu Kyi has been held incommunicado since the military seized power in a coup on Feb. 1, detaining the civilian leader, her chief ministers and advisers. Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party won elections in a landslide in November for the second time, but the military claimed the vote was fraudulent, canceled the result and took over the government.
In the months that followed, millions took to the streets in protest and worked to delegitimize the government through a campaign of civil disobedience. The military regime has responded with characteristic brutality, detaining almost 5,000 people. More than 800 have been killed in crackdowns on street protests and in military operations since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma).