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Extension of Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest, limitations on her free expression "an abdication of international law", says ARTICLE 19

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - The following is a 27 May 2008 ARTICLE 19 press release:

Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi's Imprisonment Extended and Protestors Arrested

The Burmese military Junta have extended the house arrest of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi for a further six months. They have also arrested around 20 pro-democracy activists who were protesting her continued detention and the denial of her right to freedom of speech.

The protestors from the National League for Democracy (NLD) were arrested while denouncing the regime's intimidation and repression during the recent referendum on a controversial constitution that has secured the military's power over future governments.

Drawing attention to the anniversary of NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi's imprisonment, the protestors were marching toward her home when they were arrested and bundled into a truck.

Honorary ARTICLE 19 board member Suu Kyi has now been under house arrest for a total of twelve years for championing free expression and human rights in addition to winning overwhelmingly popular support in the 1990 elections. She is not allowed visitors, has no medium for communication or expression, and her post is intercepted.

"The extended detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and the suspension of her right to free speech is not only a gross disrespect for human rights, but is also an abdication of international law", said Dr. Agnès Callamard, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19.

"ARTICLE 19 calls on the international community to utilise the opportunity provided in helping the cyclone Nargis victims to also assist the victims of the military government and promote freedom of speech."

ARTICLE 19 calls on the international community to demand that the military junta:
- Secure Aung San Suu Kyi's immediate release and that of all prisoners of conscience in Burma;
- Put in place a process which leads to the holding of peaceful democratic elections.

Updates the Aung San Suu Kyi case:

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