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UN Declares Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s Detention Illegal

By Freedom Now  •  June 17, 2010

UN Urges Her Immediate And Unconditional Release

Today, Freedom Now released Opinion No. 12/2010 from the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. The judgment from this international tribunal unequivocally reestablishes that the ongoing detention of Burmese democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is illegal and in violation of international law.

In its opinion, the Working Group declares that ”[t]he continuation of the deprivation of liberty of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi is arbitrary being in contravention of articles 9, 10, 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. . .” The Working Group further condemned the junta’s illegal imprisonment of Ms. Suu Kyi stating that she “was not informed of the reasons for her arrest; had no effective remedy to challenge her detention; no records were given to her; she was never informed of her rights; she has been denied communication with the [o]utside world; and is being detained because of her political views.”

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is an independent and impartial body of the UN Human Rights Council. It currently consists of experts from Chile, Norway, Pakistan, Russian Federation, and Senegal. This is the sixth opinion from the Working Group finding subsequent terms of her house arrest in violation of international law.

Ms. Suu Kyi’s political party, the National League for Democracy, and its allies won the 1990 elections in Burma with more than 80% of the parliamentary seats. Since that election, Ms. Suu Kyi has spent more than 14 of the last 20 years under house arrest. American citizen John Yettaw’s unannounced and illegal entry into Ms. Suu Kyi’s residence in May 2009 resulted in the most recent illegal extension of her house arrest.

In a recent statement carried by the state-run media, Burma’s foreign ministry stated it “is a country that always respects UN declarations and decisions as it is a UN member country.” If this is the case, then she should be immediately released. “Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will be sixty-five years old this Saturday, June 19th – another birthday spent unjustly confined,” said Jared Genser, president of Freedom Now and international pro bono counsel for Ms. Suu Kyi. “The military junta continues to flagrantly violate international law and decisions of the UN Working Group by imprisoning Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.”

Read the full text of Opinion No. 12/2010.

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This post is in: Press Release

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