Myanmar: Ban disappointed by denial of Aung San Suu Kyi’s release

26 February 2010

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced disappointment that the continued appeal against her house arrest in Myanmar by prominent pro-democracy and opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was rejected again.

“The Secretary-General reiterates his call for the release of all political prisoners and their free participation in the political process,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.

“These are essential steps for national reconciliation and democratic transition in Myanmar,” it added.

Ms. Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD), was sentenced last August to an additional 18 months of house arrest. She was convicted of violating state security laws after an uninvited United States citizen gained access to her home after serving over 14 years in detention, according to media reports.

Earlier this month, NLD Vice-Chairman U Tin Oo was released after six years of house arrest, in a move welcomed by the Secretary-General, who expressed hope that the development would lead to a more “credible and inclusive political process.”

The first elections in Myanmar in more than two decades are slated to take place later this year as part of a Government-designed timetable towards greater democratization.

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