Over a dozen UN rights experts jointly urge release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
As the current detention term of Nobel Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi approaches, over a dozen United Nations human rights experts have joined their voices to call on the Myanmar authorities to free her and all other political prisoners.
“We believe this would give a significant sign of the Government's will to initiate a genuine and effective transition towards democracy,” the experts said in a statement released in Geneva.
Ms. Suu Kyi, the General-Secretary of the National League for Democracy, has a current detention term ending on 27 May, and has been held for 11 years without charge or trial since her party and its allies won the 1990 election with over eighty percent of the Parliamentary seats. She has been kept in isolation for the past four years.
“As of one of the world’s most acclaimed human rights defenders, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate is a major political and spiritual leader of Myanmar,” the experts said. “Her tireless commitment to non-violence, truth and human rights has made her a worthy symbol through whom the plight of all people in Myanmar may be recognized.”
They called on the Government of Myanmar to release her unconditionally and to free all the remaining political prisoners.
The stability of Myanmar, they said, “is not well served by the arrest and detention of several political leaders or by the severe and sustained restrictions on the exercise of civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.”
The statement was endorsed by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro; the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders, Hina Jilani; the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Ambeyi Ligabo; the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Leandro Despouy; the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak; the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Yakin Ertürk; the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Asma Jahangir.
Also signing on were the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, Rodolofo Stavenhagen; the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, Miloon Kothari; the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Paul Hunt; the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler; the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Sigma Huda; and the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, Juan Miguel Petit.