Sunday, May 17, 2009

Now, 23 say: Withdraw Suu Kyi's Absurd Charge, and Release All Political Prisoners in Burma

Media Statement – 16/5/2009 (Re-issued 17/5/2009 with more endorsements)



We, the undersigned, are shocked that Aung San Suu Kyi has now been absurdly charged for the offence of breaking the terms of her house arrest, in particular the condition that forbids visitors, after an American man, swam across the lake and entered her house uninvited and refused to leave.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her two assistants were reported to have been charged on 14/5/2009 with breach of detention under Section 22 of the Law Safeguarding the State from the Dangers of Subversive Elements, and their trial is scheduled to begin on Monday (18/5/2009) in an Insein Prison special court set up to handle political dissidents.

American, John William Yettaw, 53, of Falcon, Missouri swam across Inya Lake on the night of May 3 and left the compound early on the night of May 5, swimming a distance of about 2 kilometers. Authorities arrested him later that morning.

In Burma, it is also against the law for a foreigner to stay in the home of a Burmese citizen overnight without approval from authorities.

Dr. Tin Myo Win, Suu Kyi’s family physician, also will allegedly be charged in connection with Yettaw’s staying in Suu Kyi’s compound overnight. Yettaw himself is also expected to be charged, presumably for violating one of Burma’s internal security laws.

Aung San Suu Kyi and her two assistants, have been taken from her home and is currently being detained in the infamous Insein Prison since 14/5/2009.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, 63, the leader of the National League for Democracy(NLD), has spent 13 of the past 19 years in virtual isolation in her home since the Burmese military junta refused to recognise NLD's landslide victory in the country's last elections in 1990.

The most recent, six-year period of detention is due to end on May 27. The junta’s justification for keeping her locked away under the provisions of this draconian 1975 national security law was to protect the state from "destructive elements". Many speculate that this recent incident was created or being manipulated to discredit Suu Kyi and provide justification for the military government to extend her house arrest again.
We call for the immediate withdrawal of this absurd charge levied against Aung San Suu Kyi, and her 2 assistants;

We also call for the immediate and unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Burma;

We call for ASEAN and ASEAN member governments, including Malaysia, to immediately intervene and urge the government of Burma to respect human rights, and to adhere to the numerous United Nations resolutions, including General Assembly Resolution 49/197 [1995], which, amongst others, “…call on the Government of Myanmar to release unconditionally and immediately the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who is now in her sixth year of detention without trial, and other political leaders and remaining political prisoners…’

We also call on the United Nations(UN), the European Union(EU) and all concerned nations to act for the immediate withdrawal of this absurd charge, to secure the immediate and unconditional release of all political detainees and to restore democracy and human rights to Burma and its peoples.

Charles Hector
Pranom Somwong
for and on behalf of the following 23 organisations,

All Women's Action Society (AWAM)
Amnesty Malaysia
Burma Campaign, Malaysia
Civil Society Committee of LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLGCSC)
Coordination of Action Research on AIDS & Mobility (CARAM-ASIA )
Friends of Burma, Malaysia
MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)
Malaysia Youth and Student Democratic Movement (DEMA)
Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM)
Migration Working Group (MWG)
Myanmar Refugee Volunteer Group (MRVG)
National Democratic Party for Human Rights (NDPHR-Exile) Malaysia
National Institute for Electoral Intergrity (NIEI)
Network of Action for Migrants in Malaysia (NAMM)
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)
Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM)
Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS), Malaysia
Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
Workers Hub For Change (WH4C)
Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)

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