Deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi celebrated her birthday while speaking in court where she is being held by the military government on a range of charges.
Suu Kyi, whose elected government was overthrown by the military last February, turned 77 on Sunday.
A lawyer familiar with the trial said Suu Kyi cut the cake to celebrate her birthday when she met with her lawyer ahead of Monday’s court hearing on corruption charges and then handed the cut over to her lawyer, police and court officials.
The official said that her lawyers sent the cake on her birthday through the police to a secret place where she is being held, and that all of Suu Kyi’s trials are closed to the media, and the public and her lawyers are banned under a gag. order to provide details of the proceedings.
According to the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners, which maintains detailed records of civilians imprisoned or killed by government forces, she is among more than 11,124 people currently detained for opposing the military regime.
The military coup met with widespread resistance, and some UN experts now describe Myanmar as a state of civil war.
Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won a landslide victory in the 2020 elections and is still considered by the people of Myanmar to be the rightful leader of the country.
Suu Kyi is now on trial on several charges, including corruption, which her supporters say is politically motivated to discredit her and legitimize the military takeover.
She has already been sentenced to 11 years in prison on charges of illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies, violating coronavirus restrictions, sedition and preliminary charges of corruption.