Friday, May 15, 2009

World leaders demand freedom for Suu Kyi

by Salai Pi Pi
Friday, 15 May 2009 22:25

New Delhi (Mizzima) - World leaders, including Ban Ki Mon, the United Nations (UN) Secretary General are being urged to pressurize the Burmese military regime for the unconditional release of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Vaclav Havel, former president of the Czech Republic on Tuesday called on Ban Ki Mon to secure the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, who the junta has charged for breaching the terms of her house arrest, after John William Yettaw, a US citizen sneaked into her house in early May.

“Given Daw Aung San Suu Kyi´s fragile health and harsh conditions in Burmese prisons I am gravely concerned about her life,” Havel said in his open letter to UN’s chief on Thursday, “I, therefore, call on you to do everything in your power to procure the immediate and unconditional release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.”

The call from Havel came after the Burmese regime transferred Suu Kyi and her two attendants to Burma’s notorious Insein prisoner and put her on trial on Monday in connection with an American swimming to her house and staying there for two days.

On May 5, the American was picked up by security forces in Innya Lake while he was swimming back from her house.

The junta’s court framed charges against Aung San Suu Kyi for breaching of the internment order and failing to comply with this order imposed under the 1975 Law Safeguarding the State from Destructive Elements (popularly known as State Protection Law).

Under this section, it is an offence punishable by three to five years in prison or Kyat 5,000 fine or both.

However, according to Suu Kyi’s lawyer Kyi Win, she is innocent where she said, “She did not commit any crime.”

Meanwhile, the members of the Sakharov Network (SN) asked the European Union (EU) to take action against the regime over the imprisonment of their fellow Sakharov Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.

“We had hoped this outrageous situation would be over on May 27, when her house arrest was due to end. But it is now clear that the current maneuvers are designed to prolong her illegal and unjust imprisonment,” SN said in its press release on Thursday.

The report added, “We urge European officials, especially the Czech government, current holder of the European Union’s rotating presidency, to take all necessary measures to obtain our fellow Sakharov laureate’s release and the release of all political prisoners in Burma.

The New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW) today also said the Burmese regime took advantage of the American’s visit to Suu Kyi’s house and called for ASEAN, China and India to pressure Burma to free Suu Kyi.

“Burma’s military authorities have taken advantage of an intruder’s bizarre stunt to throw Aung San Suu Kyi into one of Burma’s most notorious and squalid jails on trumped-up charges,” said Elaine Pearson, Deputy Asia Director at Human Rights Watch in its press release on Friday. “China and India, as Burma’s main supporters, and ASEAN should condemn this injustice and use their leverage to push hard for her freedom.”

“There is no process of national reconciliation whatsoever as long as political opponents like Aung San Suu Kyi are behind bars,” Pearson in HRW’s press release added.

HRW also said that UN has tried to appease Burma’s generals for years “but, now the Secretary-General should simply insist on Aung San Suu Kyi’s unconditional release, from prison and from house arrest.

Similarly, Britain’s distinguished actors, writers, and designers and UK based Campaign group, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) joined the call for the release of Suu Kyi and other political prisoners in Burma.

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