Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Turns 62 Today, Marking 4,253 Days Under House Arrest
-Ottawa, (June 19, 2007)
Today we celebrate the 62nd birthday of our sister Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and join international calls for an end to her ongoing detention. Today marks the 4,253rd day the democratically elected leader of Burma has spent in detention (11 years and 238 days).
Suu Kyi has been forced to spend most of the last 17 years in isolation from her people and the international community, serving a sentence of strict house arrest at the hands the oppressive Burmese military junta. The most recent extension of her house arrest came on 25 May 2007.
Suu Kyi was a constant presence during the Nobel Women’s Initiative’s First International Conference last month where flowers and a photograph of the leader symbolized her place among the gathering of international rights activists. During the conference Shirin Ebadi noted, It is our sadness that…our sister laureate, Aung San Suu Syi, has yet again had her detention extended. We look forward to a day when she can be amongst us. In January, 13 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates attempted to visit Suu Kyi but were denied visas to enter Burma.
Hopes were high for Suu Kyi’s release and for justice for the people of Burma when the United Nations Security Council put Burma on its formal agenda in September 2006. However, a binding Resolution has failed to be issued by the Council. In January 2007, a U.S. drafted resolution urged Burma’s military government to release all political prisoners, including Suu Kyi, and addressed government attacks against civilians, the use of rape as a weapon of war, and the ability of humanitarian aid groups to move freely around the country. The resolution was vetoed by Russia and China, and surprisingly South Africa joined their opposition.
Join us in our call for the immediate and unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as that of her fellow political prisoners. Urge the Security Council to pass a binding resolution to help bring about national reconciliation and democracy.
World prepares for Suu Kyi birthday in detention, by Shah Paung, The Irrawaddy, 19 June 2007.
Over a million Burmese to be recognized on World Refugee Day, by Christopher Smith, Mizzima News, 19 June 2007.
Aid and sanctions in Burma, by Chris Beyrer and Eric Stover, The Boston Globe, 16 June 2007.
NLD women pelted with slingshots, Democratic Voice of Burma, 12 June 2007.
State-sanctioned mass rape in Burma and Sudan, Open Society Institute, 27 February 2007.
Read about Burma’s political history and repression at the hands of the military regime at our Burma Issue page.