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Myanmar: Ban Ki-moon repeats call for release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar: Ban Ki-moon repeats call for release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Ban Ki-moon
Reacting to the Government of Myanmar’s decision to extend the detention of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today repeated his call for her release.

“He strongly believes that the sooner restrictions on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other political figures are lifted, the sooner Myanmar will be able to move towards inclusive national reconciliation, the restoration of democracy and full respect for human rights,” his spokesperson said in a statement voicing regret at the extension.

Ms. Suu Kyi, the General-Secretary of the National League for Democracy, has been held for 11 years without charge or trial since her party and its allies won the 1990 election with over 80 percent of the Parliamentary seats. She has been under house arrest for four years, and has spent 11 of the past 17 years in detention.

The decision was handed down despite Mr. Ban’s direct appeal to the South-East Asian nation’s senior leadership as well as numerous global calls for the release of Ms. Suu Kyi, who is one of over 1,000 known political prisoners held in prisons and labour camps across Myanmar, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Mr. Ban is “determined to continue working towards tangible progress in Myanmar through the use of his good offices mandate, as entrusted by the General Assembly” and has instructed his newly-appointed Special Adviser for the country, Ibrahim Gambari, to engage the Government and its citizens in a dialogue, according to the statement.