As Aung San Suu Kyi today reaches a total of 15 years in detention, Burma Campaign UK called for urgent international pressure to force Burma’s dictatorship to unconditionally release her on 13th November. Aung San Suu Kyi’s current period of detention expires on November 13th, following her being placed under house arrest after a sham trial in August 2009. Although there was an international outcry at the time, no concrete action was taken to try to secure her release.
“Although Aung San Suu Kyi should be released on November 13th, the lack of pressure on the dictatorship may encourage them to think they can get away with keeping her under house arrest’, said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK.
There are also concerns that the dictatorship may place strict conditions on Aung San Suu Kyi if she were released. These conditions could be designed to stop her engaging in political activities.
Burma’s generals are pressing ahead with fake elections on 7th November, which will bring in a rubber stamp parliament and a new constitution designed to legalise dictatorship. Ahead of the elections the dictatorship has increased harassment of democracy activists, banned the National League for Democracy, and ensured that Aung San Suu Kyi remains detained during the period of the elections. It is also threatening to increase attacks on ethnic ceasefire groups, which would create a human rights and humanitarian crisis.
Burma Campaign UK is calling for the world to unite behind the UN and support a new initiative to try to persuade Burma’s dictatorship to enter into negotiations with Burma’s democracy movement and genuine ethnic representatives.