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Alternative Asean Network on Burma
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PRESS RELEASES, OPEN LETTERS, STATEMENTS

For Immediate Release: 11 August 2008

ASEAN ACTIVISTS CONDEMN THE UNLAWFUL IMPRISONMENT OF DAW AUNG SAN SUU KYI, CALL FOR UN SECURITY COUNCIL ACTION

ASEAN-based activists today reiterated their support for an international arms embargo and a UN Security Council Commission of Inquiry into crimes against humanity in Burma, in the wake of the sentencing of Burmese democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

The sham trial, farcical verdict, and illegitimate jail sentence that was bizarrely “commuted” to house arrest is the latest in a series of ploys designed by Burma’s military regime to ensure that the most viable pro-democracy candidates are excluded from the upcoming 2010 elections.

“The SPDC may hope that its twisted version of mercy to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will convince the international community to ease off the pressure. The international community must not be fooled. Even now, the regime continues to commit atrocities against ethnic communities in Eastern Burma, torturing and killing defenseless men, women, and children,” asserted Debbie Stothard, Coordinator of the Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (Altsean-Burma).

“There must be a global arms embargo and a UN Security Council Commission of Inquiry into crimes against humanity in Burma, to show that the international community is serious about stopping systematic human rights violations there. Otherwise we are all going to be trapped in the regime’s one-step-forward-two-steps-back dance.”

Ms Stothard pointed out that the trial proceedings and outcome were evidence of the regime’s growing vulnerability to international and domestic pressure. “The regime is trying to portray itself as being nice guys for sending Daw Aung San Suu Kyi into house arrest once more. This is still imprisonment. The regime has illegally imprisoned her for 14 years and will continue to do so if it thinks it can get away with it.”

On 14 May, Daw Suu was arrested and put on trial shortly before her house arrest was to end. The official excuse this time was allegedly violating the terms of her house arrest following the intrusion of an American man into her compound on 3 May.

ENDS

Enquiries: Debbie Stothard, Cellphone +668 1686 1652