Myanmar government extends detention of democracy advocate

[JURIST] The military government of Myanmar [JURIST news archive] Friday extended the house arrest of pro-democracy advocate and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi [advocacy website; BBC profile] for another year, rejecting calls for her release by both national and international human rights activists. The move, which forces Suu Kyi to remain in her home for a fifth straight year, was widely criticized. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that he "regrets" Myanmar's decision [statement] and is determined to continue working to restore democracy in the country. US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the decision was inexcusable [statement], and called for the international community to put additional pressure on the Myanmar government.

Before Friday's decision, calls for Suu Kyi's release came from the US State Department [statement], UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [statement; JURIST report], 59 former heads of state [press release], and others. The extension was widely expected, as activists in Myanmar calling for Suu Kyi's release were briefly arrested [JURIST report] last week by the military government. Suu Kyi has spent 11 of the past 17 years in prison or under house arrest for alleged violations of an anti-subversion law [text]. AP has more.

 

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