05/18/2009, 00.00
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Yangon, the trial begins against Aung San Suu Kyi

The opposition leader risks three to five years in prison. The junta shuts down the areas around the prison and blocks access to foreign diplomats. Phone lines abroad are cut. A petition drawn up by politicians and intellectuals demands the release of the “Lady”.

Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The trial begins today in Yangon against Aung San Suu Kyi, accused of having violated the terms of her house arrest for having allowed an American citizen into her home.   The International community declares the charges to be “baseless” and demands her immediate release; ahead of the trial the military junta cut all telephone lines abroad – only very few mobile phones are able to communicate overseas – and shut down the area around Insein.

Aung San Suu Kyi, has spent 13 of the last 19 years under house arrest, and risks being sentenced to between three and five years.  Furthermore the Noble Peace prize winner and leader of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) risks being excluded from the national elections slated for 2010; the first vote to take place in 20 years after the NLD’s landslide victory in 1990 that was never recognised by the military dictatorship currently in power.

As reported by AsiaNews the day after the detention of 53 year-old US citizen John William Yettaw, author of the incursion into Suu Kyi’s home, the episode has all the appearance of a “perfectly fabricated pretext” for the military junta to lengthen the “Lady’s’” house arrest.  On May 27th the terms of her detention expire. Now the Noble Laureate risks a heavy sentence.

The junta has shut down the area around Insein prison in Yangon. Diplomats from Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Australia have been barred from accessing the prison.  Meanwhile intellectuals, activists, politicians and people from the world of entertainment have launched a campaign for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi: among the signatories are Vàclav Havek, Robert De Niro, Salman Rushdie, Steven Spielberg, Madeleine Albright and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.


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See also
The military arrests Aung San Suu Kyi. Risks 5 years of prison
Defense witness: the law used to charge Aung San Suu Kyi has been repealed
For China things in Myanmar are getting “better” but monks continue to report cases of torture
Suu Kyi's house arrest extended by another 12 months
The world shows support for Aung San Suu Kyi on her birthday


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