On May 14, 2009, Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy, and two of her assistants were taken from her home to Insein Prison following an incident in which an American man allegedly swam across a lake to her house and stayed there for two days. Suu Kyi was subsequently put on trial for breaching the terms of her house arrest, and was sentenced to an additional 18 months under house arrest on August 11, 2009. These charges and punishment are politically motivated and fail to meet international and national legal standards. The only issue here is her immediate and unconditional release.
Aung San Suu Kyi, co-founded the National League for Democracy (NLD), a pro-democracy political party that sought to counter the military junta that had reigned over Myanmar since 1962. In 1990, the NLD won almost 80 percent of the parliamentary seats in a general election. Surprised at the landslide victory, the military junta refused to transfer power to Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD, and jailed scores of political activists.
For 13 of the past 20 years, Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced “Awng Sahn Soo Chee”) has endured unofficial detention, house arrest and restrictions on her movement. She continues to be held under house arrest in Yangon without charge or trial. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s sentencing comes in the midst of ongoing human rights violations by the military against ethnic minority civilians. In early June the Myanmar army staged attacks and took Karen civilians for forced labour in Kayin State. This resulted in over 3,500 refugees fleeing to Thailand.
1989: Put under house arrest as Burma junta declares martial law
1990: NLD wins election; military disregards result
1991: Wins Nobel Peace Prize
1995: Released from house arrest, but movements restricted
2000-02: Second period of house arrest
May 2003: Detained after clash between NLD and junta forces
Sep 2003: Allowed home after medical treatment, but under effective house arrest
May 2007: House arrest is extended for another year
Sept 2007: First public appearance since 2003, greeting protesting Buddhist monks
May 2008: House arrest extended for another year
May 2009: Charged with breaking detention rules after an American swims to her compound
August 2009: Sentenced to 18 months further house arrest
Amnesty International seeks the immediate and unconditional release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all prisoners of conscience in Myanmar.