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Aung San Suu Kyi arrested

May 14, 2009

On 14. May, Burma’s democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested by the regime and moved from house arrest to the notorious Insein prison.

According to the Democratic Voice of Burma, Article 22 of the Burmese penal code bars Aung San Suu Kyi from contact with any outsiders without permission, and charges have been brought against her relating to her contact with a US citizen who swam across a lake to reach her.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s two caretakers and the swimmer, John William Yettaw, have been charged under Article 22/109, relating to aiding and abetting the breaking of Article 22. The official court trial will take place on 18 May, Suu Kyi’s lawyer, Kyi Win,told the Democratic Voice of Burma.

Regardless of the actual charge, many see the arrest and the upcoming trial as a nothing more than a scheme to keep Aung San Suu Kyi locked away as her current internment under house arrest expires on 27 May.

– It looks as though this is a pretext to keep her detained until elections due in 2010 which the generals think will give them some legitimacy, says BBC South-East Asia correspondent Jonathan Head.

Punishing the victim

Even under the cruel conditions of her house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi has committed no crime. If a crime has been committed,  she is the victim, not the perpetrator. If somebody shows up at her doorstep in violation of Burmese law and refuses to leave,  she cannot be held responsible for the “crime”. The junta has no real case against Aung San Suu Kyi, but that does not stop them from using any excuse to keep her detained. If the international community does not take strong action, Aung San Suu Kyi could very well spend the rest of her life in jail.

E-mail the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and ASEAN leaders and urge them to send envoys to Burma to demand the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi!

UPDATE: FollowAung San Suu Kyi´s trial at the website of the Democratic Voice of Burma.

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