Burma’s Suu Kyi files new appeal against detention

Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has lodged a new appeal with the Supreme Court against her house arrest in a last-chance attempt to win freedom, her lawyer said on Wednesday.

The Nobel peace laureate, who has spent most of the last two decades locked up, had her detention lengthened by 18 months in August last year after being convicted over a bizarre incident in which a United States man swam to her lakeside home.

She has already had her appeal rejected twice, most recently by the Supreme Court in the former capital Rangoon in February.

The court is expected to take about two weeks to reach a decision on whether they will agree to a hearing for the new “special” appeal, which was submitted on Monday, her lawyer Nyan Win told Agence-France Presse.

“If law and order prevails, Daw Suu will be freed as she is not guilty. There is nothing more we can do under the law if they reject it again,” he said. “Daw” is a term of respect in Burma.


Suu Kyi has been in jail or under house arrest for 14 of the past 20 years. Her National League for Democracy (NLD) won 1990 elections by a landslide but was prevented by the junta from taking power.

The Supreme Court last week rejected a bid by the pro-democracy icon to prevent the disbanding of her party under widely criticised laws governing elections that are scheduled for sometime later this year.

Critics say the polls are aimed at simply entrenching the generals’ power.

The NLD refused to meet a May 6 deadline to re-register as a party — a move that would have forced it to expel its own leader — and boycotted the vote, which critics say is a sham designed to legitimise the junta’s grip on power.

Under election legislation unveiled in March, anyone serving a prison term is banned from being a member of a political party and parties that fail to obey the rule will be abolished.

The NLD, which was founded in 1988 after a popular uprising against the junta that left thousands dead, won a landslide victory in 1990 elections but the junta never allowed it to take office.

A faction within the NLD said last week that it would form a new political party, to be called the National Democratic Force, that is expected to run in the election.

The United States on Monday demanded “immediate” action by Burma’s junta to address fears the polls will lack legitimacy.

“What we have seen to date leads us to believe that these elections will lack international legitimacy,” a top US diplomat, Kurt Campbell, said after talks with government ministers and Suu Kyi.

“We urge the regime to take immediate steps to open the process in the time remaining before the elections,” he said.

US President Barack Obama’s administration launched dialogue with Burma’s military rulers last year after concluding that Western attempts to isolate the regime had produced little success. — AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Why Uganda needs a Stella Nyanzi in Parliament

Many Ugandans find Stella Nyanzi’s mode of protest, including vulgar insults and stripping to make a point, unsettling. But her challenge to the country’s patriarchy could bring much-needed reform

Nine years later, South Sudan is still a nation in waiting

July 9 marks nine years since South Sudan became independent. But the promise of that independence has yet to be realised

Pandemic-induced human rights violations a double tragedy to humanity

The conflation of human rights violations and a pandemic leave the most vulnerable marginalised. Equitable and democratic societies are needed to fight against this

UN special rapporteur on the environment joins local air pollution case

The state is facing a court battle about big industry’s emissions and their link to poor health. This is a public health concern and the government must take action to save lives

Audacious Zambian protesters outsmart the police

Tired of being arrested and beaten up at protests, young activists tried something different and it worked

Remembering the cruelty of strongman Nkurunziza and his regime

Burundi’s president was a cruel and tyrannical leader under whom no one was safe, not even schoolchildren
Advertising

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed

White men still rule and earn more

Women and black people occupy only a few seats at the JSE table, the latest PwC report has found

ANC still at odds over how to tackle leaders facing...

The ANC’s top six has been mandated to work closely with its integrity committee to tackle claims of corruption against senior party members

The PPE scandal that the Treasury hasn’t touched

Many government officials have been talking tough about dealing with rampant corruption in PPE procurement but the majority won't even release names of who has benefited from the R10-billion spend
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday