Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi taken to prison (lead)May 14th, 2009 - 8:33 am ICT by IANS
Yangon, May 14 (DPA) Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was taken to Yangon’s notorious Insein Prison Thursday to face charges of allowing a US national to visit her home where she has been under detention for six years.
Suu Kyi, 63, the 1991 Nobel peace prize winner, was scheduled to attend a trail in Insein Prison involving herself, her maid, her doctor and US national John William Yethaw, who swam to her house on Inya Lake last week and spent three nights there before swimming away.
Suu Kyi could face a jail term in Insein for allowing the unauthorised visit, sources said.
“This is the cunning plan of the regime to put Daw (Mrs) Aung San Suu Kyi in continuous detention beyond the six years allowed by the law they (the regime) used to justify (her) detention,” said Aung Din, executive director of the US Campaign for Burma.
Yethaw, 53, was arrested on the morning of May 6 while swimming away from Suu Kyi’s house.
Suu Kyi has been kept in near complete isolation for the past six years, with only weekly visits by her doctors allowed and occasional visits by UN special envoys.
Only her two domestic helpers have permission to stay in the house.
Suu Kyi, the only Nobel Peace Prize laureate currently under detention, was interrogated last week about Yethaw’s visit.
She reportedly told authorities that she deemed the visit “illegal” and “unacceptable”, and had kept Yethaw downstairs in her home-cum-jail for the entire time, sources said.
Suu Kyi is the daughter of Aung San, an independence hero who was assassinated in 1948. She returned to Myanmar in 1988 to tend to her ailing mother and got caught up in the country’s nascent pro-democracy movement, of which she quickly became a leading figure.
She has spent 13 of the past 19 years under house arrest. Her latest jail term was due to expire May 27. There are more than 2,500 political prisoners in Myanmar jails.
“This also shows total defiance of the regime to the United Nations and the international community, who have been consistently and repeatedly calling for the regime to release all political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,” said US-based Aung Din of Suu Kyi’s trial.
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