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SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON MYANMAR REGRETS EXTENSION OF HOUSE ARREST OF DAW AUNG SAN SUU KYI

29 November 2005

The Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation in Myanmar, Mr. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, deeply regrets the further prolongation in the house arrest of the General Secretary of the National League for Democracy and the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been held hostage without charge or trial for over ten years by the Government of Myanmar.

On the eve of another phase of the National Convention, many of those who should be in attendance find themselves behind bars. That legitimate political stake-holders are locked out of the political process runs contrary to the Government’s commitment to institute democracy.

By cordoning off the political arena and imposing multiple life sentences on Shan leaders, the Government is depriving the political transition process of vital contributions from the key political actors in the country.

The Special Rapporteur once again appeals to the Government to honor its commitment made to the people of Myanmar, by releasing the 1,143 political prisoners; lifting restrictions on freedom of expression and association; revoking all legislation which violates civil and political rights; re-opening of offices of political parties; and terminating the harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention of pro-democracy advocates, human rights defenders and all those involved in peaceful political activities.

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