Following news that Aung San Suu Kyi has had her detention under house arrest extended, the Burma Campaign UK is concerned that without international action she could face the rest of her life in detention.
U Lwin, spokesman for Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, has told Reuters news agency that police vehicles entered her compound last Saturday. “We later heard they informed her that the house arrest had been extended,” U Lwin told Reuters.
He said Suu Kyi was being held under the Law Safeguarding the State from the Danger of Subversive Elements, which allows for a one-year detention of those considered a threat to the state.
“The regime can extend her detention year after year, without trial or any prospect of release,” said John Jackson, Director of the Burma Campaign UK. “We can now expect the usual statements expressing concern from EU governments and the United Nations. Hand-wringing won’t get rid of the military dictatorship. This must go to the United Nations Security Council.”
“This news should also serve as a warning to Asean governments, whose policy of engagement with the regime has failed,” said John Jackson. “Now they face the prospect of this brutal regime representing them internationally when Burma chairs Asean in 2006. Is this the image they want to present to the world? It’s time they pressured the regime instead of protecting it.”
59 year old Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Burma’s democracy movement, is serving her third term of house arrest. She was arrested on May 30th 2003 after a pro-regime militia attacked a convoy she was travelling in. Up to one hundred of her supporters were massacred. She is currently banned from receiving visitors and her phone line has been cut. No-one from the international community has been allowed to see her in the past eight months.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s periods of arrest:
20 July 1989 – 10 July 1995
23 September 2000 – 6 May 2002
30 May 2003 – current day
For more information and comment contact Mark Farmaner, Media Officer, on 020 7324 4713 or John Jackson, Director, on 020 7324 4712