Suu Kyi in final appeal against her house arrest

18.01.2010 - Rangoon - Tony Robinson

The Supreme Court in Myanmar is hearing a final appeal against the house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Laureate who won the 1990 general election in Burma and who has been under house arrest for 14 of the last 20 years.

According to the BBC her lawyers are basing their appeal on a legal technicality as the original case was brought under a law from an old constitution.

“From a purely legal point of view we should win,” said a member of her legal team.

On recent form though it is unlikely that a legal technicality will be enough to see the release of Suu Kyi, whose earlier appeal to a lower court has already been denied.

On the 3rd of May 2009, a US citizen, John Yettaw swam across a lake into her house-prison and stayed for 3 days. Upon discovery of this news, the authorities arrested and prosecuted Suu Kyi who was eventually sentenced to imprisonment with hard labour, something that almost certainly would have killed her, had the military junta not commuted the sentence to a further 18 months of house arrest, which her legal team are now appealing against.

In 2010, the military government are due to organise a multi-party general election in accordance with the new constitution of 2008. Suu Kyi herself will not be eligible to run due to the absurd article 59F which bans from public office people who are or were married to foreigners.

Categories: Asia, International, International issues


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