Myanmar: top UN officials call for release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

28 May 2008

Top United Nations officials today expressed their disappointment over the decision by the Government of Myanmar to extend the house arrest of pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour voiced her “profound disappointment,” calling on the Government to unconditionally release Ms. Suu Kyi.

“Her release will be critical in facilitating national reconciliation and democratic transition, to which the Myanmar leadership has committed itself,” Ms. Arbour said in a statement.

The detention of Ms. Suu Kyi, who is the General Secretary of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Myanmar and a Nobel laureate, was extended on 27 May. She has been under house arrest for 12 of the last 18 years and her current period of detention began in 2003.

“These continued severe restrictions on the freedom of expression and movement against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi contravene basic human rights,” the High Commissioner noted. “They come at a time when the people of Myanmar are suffering hard and their suffering should not be compounded by more restrictive measures.”

In addition, Ms. Arbour expressed concern at the arrest on Tuesday of at least 15 members of the NLD who were marching towards Ms. Suu Kyi’s house.

General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim also urged the release of “all political detainees” in Myanmar and expressed his “disappointment” over the decision to extend Ms. Suu Kyi’s house arrest.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Kerim “continues to believe that it is important to have serious engagement and strong commitment from all parties to continue the process of national reconciliation that needs to be credible and inclusive and must lead to concrete results as envisaged by the relevant General Assembly resolutions.”

 

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Myanmar: Ban Ki-moon ‘regrets’ continued detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said he ‘regretted’ the decision by Myanmar’s Government to extend the detention of pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.