“In an Authoritarian State, Only the Prisoner of Conscience is Truly Free”
After 14 years of political confinement the non-violent activist Aung San Suu Kyi, who was sentenced to another 18 months for an alleged violation of her house arrest, has chosen the freedom of coherence. She stated that she does not feel deprived of liberty since “in an authoritarian state, only the prisoner of conscience is truly free”.
Asked about the difficulties of leading a normal life that such a long period of imprisonment has meant, she commented: “Yes, we have renounced our right to lead a normal life, but we have remained faithful to the most precious part of humanity, our conscience”.
The length of the sentence means that Suu Kyi will be under arrest during the general elections programmed for next year. The sentence has drawn strong protests from the international community. The European Union assures that sanctions against the Generals’ regime will be reinforced, while the president of the USA, Barack Obama, has demanded the “immediate and unconditional release” of Suu Kyi. The 64-year-old opposition leader has spent 14 of the last 20 years deprived of freedom since the Military Junta refused to recognize the electoral victory of her party, the National League for Democracy, in 1990.
*(Translation from Spanish to English: James Arthur Williamson)*