05/14/2009, 00.00
MYANMAR
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The military arrests Aung San Suu Kyi. Risks 5 years of prison

Measure taken by military after American citizen breaks into her home. The opposition leaders lawyer rejects the charged and promises a battle in court. Recently AsiaNews sources had spoken of “perfectly fabricated accusations” to imprison her.

Yangon (AsiaNews) – Aung San Suu Kyi is in Insein, a prison in North Yangon. The military dictatorship warranted her arrest after an American citizen broke into her home last week.  An episode that is highly dubious, but that has served as a “pretext” to arrest the leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD).

This morning at 7 am local time police took Aung San Suu Kyi and the two women who attend her from her home on University Road, in Yangon, close to the waters of Lake Inya. A quarter o fan hour later the police trucks entered Insein; the date of the prison trial of the “dear lady”, noble peace prize winner in 1991, has been fixed for May 18th. 

Nyan Win, spokesperson for NLD, confirms that Aung San Suu Kyi is  “in prison” and that authorities “have prepared a file on her”; that the op position leader “will be able to return to her home”, where she has spent the last 13 out of 19 years.  “She will be charged with article 22 – continues the spokesperson – of the state protection act. It [the government] is likely to accuse her that she violates the restrictions enforced under this law. We will definitely defend that she does not violate the restrictions”.

Today’s arrest is linked to the episode of the 53 year old John Willian Yeatta, who hid out for two days on the grounds of Aung San Suu Kyi’s home. An episode that has raised many questions, but that has served as a “pretext” to arrest the opposition leader.  In fact a few days ago AsiaNews sources in Myanmar had explained that “the arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi’s personal doctor and the detention of the American who visited her” are directly linked “to the imminent expiry of the warrant for her house arrest”.   A warrant that will expire on May 27th and when the “dear Lady” would have been set free.  The sources continue saying “the accusations were perfectly fabricated” by the military dictatorship, “to keep her under house arrest” despite her deteriorating health conditions.

Kyi Win, the op position leader’s lawyer has promised to battle ion court and that he will do “everything possible to get her release”.  He says the American who trespassed on the woman’s property i san “adventurer” who “acted on his own initiative”.  If found guilty, Aung San Suu Kyi risks five years in prison.

Myanmar has been under military dictatorship since 1962. In  1990 free elections were held won by a landslide by – more than 75%  of consensus – by the opposition party but never recognised by the junta.  Still today there are more than 2100 political prisoners locked up in the jails across former Burma, among them Aung San Suu Kyi, Aung San’s daughter, the national hero who led the country towards independent.

 

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