A court in Myanmar on Tuesday, 7 December, halved the prison sentence of the country's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to two years, on charges of inciting public unrest and breaching COVID rules, Reuters reported.
She had initially been sentenced on 6 December to four years in prison for the same.
Suu Kyi, however, is on trial for many more charges and could face up to 102 years in jail if found guilty of all the 11 charges that she is accused of.
Suu Kyi was detained by Myanmar's military, officially known as the Tatmadaw, after the coup d'état that the latter carried out in February earlier this year.
The military coup occurred one day before the swearing in the of the newly elected members of Myanmar's parliament who were elected during the 2020 election.
Following the coup, Myanmar erupted in protests in support of democracy. The Tatmadaw responded by violently cracking down on protesters, having already killed around 1,300 people and arrested more 10,000 protesters, according to the New York Times.
Suu Kyi's supporters assert that these charges have been fabricated to permanently remove her from Myanmar's political scene, since she is the single largest threat to the dominance of the Tatmadaw.
While she categorically denies the charges, Suu Kyi has been accused of multiple counts of corruption, violations of a state secrets act, a telecoms law, incitement, and even breach of COVID-19 regulations.
Some of the charges, according to Reuters, are the following:
Violation of COVID-19 regulations during her party National League for Democracy (NLD)'s campaigning in September 2020 (Natural Disaster Management Law, Article 25)
Intent to incite, after the NLD asked international organisations to not recognise the military junta led government (Penal Code, Article 505[b])
Obtaining or publishing or communicating secret information that could aid an enemy (Official Secrets Act)
The verdict in these cases is expected to be the first of many as the Tatmadaw tightens its grip on Myanmar's democratic institutions.
(With inputs from Reuters and New York Times.)