Myanmar allows US officials to meet arrested swimmerMay 14th, 2009 - 12:47 am ICT by IANS
Yangon, May 13 (DPA) Myanmar Wednesday allowed officials from the US embassy in Yangon to meet American swimmer John William Yethaw who was arrested after he secretly entered opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s house last week, government radio announced Wednesday.
“The US embassy requested Myanmar authority to allow to meet with John William Yeattaw in a letter dated 11 May,” said the state media.
“Therefore second secretary and another official from US embassy met Yethaw on 13 May, 4 p.m. at Aungthapyae police quarters in Yangon,” the radio said.
Yethaw, 53, reportedly swam to Suu Kyi’s house on Inya Lake May 3, and stayed there until swimming back three days later, when he was arrested in the lake.
Myanmar authorities said Yethaw was a Vietnam war veteran who was working on a book about human rights abuses.
Suu Kyi has been under house arrest at her family compound in Yangon, which rims Inya Lake, since May 2003. She 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 servants 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 has spent 13 of the past 19 years under detention in her family’s Yangon compound.
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 became caught up in the country’s nascent pro-democracy movement, of which she swiftly became a leading figure.
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