Burmese junta again closes Suu Kyi trial

Authorities in Burma on May 21 closed the trial of pro-democracy advocate and Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi after briefly opening it to 30 foreign diplomats the previous day. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said he plans to visit Burma “as soon as possible” to urge the release of Suu Kyi and other political prisoners. In an interview with CNN, Ban said that he was “deeply concerned” about the detention of “an indispensable patron for reconsidering the dialogue in Myanmar.”

Suu Kyi went on trial May 19 for violating the terms of her house arrest after an American man swam across a lake to her home. Human Rights Watch condemned Burma’s actions, calling the charges “trumped up” and seeking international support for her release.

Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy, has spent 12 of the past 18 years in prison or under house arrest for alleged violations of an anti-subversion law. In 2007, the military government had implied that she might be released after the country’s new constitution was approved. In May 2008, the junta announced that Burma’s draft constitution had been overwhelmingly approved, but the ruling junta at the same time extended Suu Kyi’s house arrest for another year. (Jurist, May 21)

See our last post on Burma.

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