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UN expert on Myanmar calls for release of Aung San Suu Kyi

14 May 2009


GENEVA -- The United Nations Special Rapporteur on situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana, expressed serious concern Thursday regarding the unlawful detention of Aung San Suu Kyi, General Secretary of the National League for Democracy (NLD), and called for her unconditional release.

According to information received by Ojea Quintana, Aung San Suu Kyi and two aides were escorted this morning by security forces to Insein prison. They appeared before a special court and were charged under article 22 of the State Protection law. Their trial has been scheduled for 18 May 2009. They are currently detained in the Insein compound.

The new charges are said to be in connection with the recent intrusion of an American citizen into the home of Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for the past six years. “Since her house is well guarded by security forces, the responsibility for preventing such intrusions, and alerting the authorities, lies with the security forces and not with Aung San Suu Kyi and her aides,” Ojea Quintana said.

Ojea Quintana said that Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention has been in contravention of Articles 9, 10 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as Myanmar’s own State Protection Law of 1975 under which she was initially charged in 2003, which allows for a maximum of five years’ detention – meaning she should have been released a year ago.

“I call on the Government of Myanmar to release Aung San Suu Kyi and her aides unconditionally,” Ojea Quintana said. He added that in order to ensure national reconciliation and democratic transition, to which the Myanmar leadership has committed itself, all 2156 prisoners of conscience currently detained by the authorities should be released before the 2010 elections.

ENDS

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