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Aung San Suu Kyi to be released in November?

January 25, 2010

According to Reuters, Burmese Home Minister Major General Maung Oo told a meeting of local officials that  pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will be freed when her current period of house arrest ends in November.

The 64-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been detained for 14 of the past 20 years. In August 2009, she was sentenced to a further 18 months of detention for harboring an American who swam uninvited to her lakeside home in May the same year, just before an earlier period of house arrest was due to end.

Taking into account the three months she spent in a prison guesthouse after the incident, the 18-month sentence would end in November, one month after the rumored date of Burma’s first elections in 20 years. This strengthens allegations by critics of the junta that the entire trial was a deliberate ploy to keep Aung San Suu Kyi out of the political arena during the elections.

According to Reuters, Maung Oo also said detained vice-chairman of the National League for Democracy (NLD) Tin Oo would be released on February 13. Senior NLD official Khin Maung Swe told Reuters it is crucial that the two are released before the election.

– The most important thing is they must be freed in good time so that they can work for national reconciliation, he said.

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