South Africa concerned over Suu Kyi’s arrest, urges her release

May 23rd, 2009 - 2:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Pretoria, May 23 (IANS) The South African government has urged Myanmar to free National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi who has been under house arrest for about six years.
Suu Kyi, 63, was recently arrested and put on trial for allowing a US national to visit her prison home without permission from the authorities and breaking the terms of her ongoing detention.

She was shifted to the Insein Prison in Yangon for the trial.

If convicted she may face a fresh jail term.

Her previous detention term was due to expire May 27.

In a statement issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation Friday, the South African government has expressed grave concern at the latest arrest of Suu Kyi, BuaNews reported Saturday.

“For free and fair general elections due to be held in Myanmar in 2010, the process should be all inclusive, and for this reason, the military government of Myanmar is urged to release political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, in order to participate in the electoral process,” the statement said.

The government is also concerned over recent reports of Suu Kyi’s poor health and fear the arrest may worsen her condition.

“The South African government reiterates its position that the solution to the current challenges facing the people of Myanmar lies in a negotiated political solution between the government and the opposition, culminating in an all inclusive free and fair elections,” the statement said.

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