UN Declares Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi Of Burma’s Detention Illegal
24 Mar 2009
EMBARGOED FOR 0001 TUESDAY 24TH MARCH 2009
PRESS RELEASE FROM FREEDOM NOW
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UN DECLARES NOBEL PEACE PRIZE LAUREATE AUNG SAN SUU KYI OF BURMA’S DETENTION ILLEGAL; URGES HER IMMEDIATE AND UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE
Washington, D.C. – Today, Freedom Now released Opinion No. 46/2008 from the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. The judgment declares unequivocally that the ongoing detention of Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is illegal and in violation of both Burmese and international law. It also urges her immediate release:
The Working Group . . . declare[es] Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s placement under house arrest [is] arbitrary, being in contravention of Articles 9, 10, and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights . . . and even domestic law . . . which itself contradicts to the basic principles and norms of modern international law . . . Consequent upon this Opinion, the Working Group requests the Government to immediately release, without any condition, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi from her continued placement under house arrest.
An independent and impartial body of the UN Human Rights Council, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention consists of experts from Chile, Pakistan Russian Federation, Senegal, and Spain. Previously, the Working Group has issued four opinions – 8/1992, 2/2002, 9/2004, and 2/2007 – that her prior terms of house arrest violated international law. But this is the first time the Working Group has declared her detention to be a violation of domestic Burmese law.
After Ms. Suu Kyi’s political party and its allies won the 1990 elections in Burma with more than 80% of the parliamentary seats, she has spent more than 13 of the last 19 years under house arrest.
“It is deeply unfortunate that the Burmese junta continues to flagrantly violate its own and international law,” said Jared Genser, President of Freedom Now, and lead attorney for Ms. Suu Kyi. “Previously, the UN Security Council, Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon, ASEAN, European Union, and United States have all called for Ms. Suu Kyi’s release. The only question remaining is how long will Burma’s bold-face defiance of the international community be tolerated?” he added.
Freedom Now is supporting the Free Burma’s Political Prisoners Now Campaign (www.fbppn.net), which aims to collect 888,888 signatures calling for the release of Ms. Suu Kyi and the more than 2,100 other political prisoners in Burma.