Statement on imprisonment of Aung San Suu Kyi
Free Burma Campaign (South Africa)
May 15, 2009.
Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was charged yesterday (14 May
2009, Thursday) and was moved from her Rangoon home to Burma's notorious
Insein Prison, where she will face trial on Monday at a special court at
Yangon's notorious Insein Prison, where she was arraigned Thursday, for
supposedly violating the terms of her house arrest by hosting an
unauthorized visitor after an American man swam uninvited to her compound
and refused to leave. She could face a prison term of up to five years if
convicted. The trial is scheduled to start on Monday
The Burmese junta is using an uninvited visit to her residence by an
American citizen -- John William Yettaw -- who swam across Inya Lake near
Aung San Suu Kyi's home, as a basis of the democracy leader's further
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's residence was already a fortress, heavily guarded by
armed personnel at the time of the intrusion and if anyone is to be charged
it should be the junta for failing to provide security to the Nobel Laureate
under its charge. Aung San Suu Kyi's current period of house arrest is due
to end later this month.
The 63-year-old Nobel prize laureate has already spent more than 13 of the
last 19 years including the past six in detention without trial for her
non-violent promotion of democracy, despite international pressure for her
release. Extending her periods of house arrest, which international jurists
say is illegal even under Myanmar's own law. Aung San Suu Kyi has recently
been ill, suffering from dehydration and low blood pressure.
Aung San Suu Kyi is the legitimate leader of Burma. Her political party, the
National League for Democracy, won 82 percent of parliamentary seats in a
national election in 1990, but the military regime refused to cede power.
She was known to many as Asias Nelson Mandela.
We are "gravely concerned" and call for her immediate release. We call on
the South African government to demand Burmas military dictator General Than
Shwe to immediately free the countrys imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. We especially urge the Ministry of International
Relations and Cooperation to speak out for the freedom of Aung San Suu Kyi.