Suu Kyi appeals against prolonged detention

October 11th, 2008 - 10:37 am ICT by IANS  

Yangon, Oct 11 (DPA) Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has submitted an appeal against the government’s latest extension of her house arrest - arguing that it violates the country’s laws, sources said Saturday.The appeal was handed over to authorities by Suu Kyi’s lawyer Hla Myo Myint at the military’s new capital of Naypyitaw Thursday, said sources from the opposition party National League for Democracy (NLD).

Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, has spent about 13 of the past 18 years under house arrest in her family’s Yangon compound.

The head of the NLD party, which won the 1990 general election, has been kept in near complete isolation since May 30, 2003, when she was charged with disturbing the peace by campaigning in the provinces.

Under Myanmar emergency law, political prisoners can only be kept under detention for a maximum of five years on charges of disturbing the peace. But Suu Kyi’s detention was extended last May for another six months, raising legal questions.

Myanmar’s ruling junta has been sending mixed signals about the duration of Suu Kyi’s incarceration. There have been hints that she may be released within six months. Many observers believe it is unlikely that she will be released before the next general election, slated for 2010.

The NLD party won the 1990 polls by a landslide, but the military government - which has ruled since 1962 - refused to accept the results.

Suu Kyi is widely seen as Myanmar’s democracy icon, and is one of the few opposition leaders with enough popular and international support to undermine the military’s monopoly of political power in the southeast Asian nation.

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