News / Asia

Lawyer Says Suu Kyi Won't Accept Conditional Release

Burma's detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi after holding talks with US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Kurt Campbell in Rangoon, Burma, 04 Nov 2009
Burma's detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi after holding talks with US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Kurt Campbell in Rangoon, Burma, 04 Nov 2009

A lawyer for Aung San Suu Kyi says the Burmese pro-democracy leader will not accept any limits on her freedom if she is released when her term of house arrest expires on Saturday.

Burma's military rulers, whose backers are claiming an overwhelming victory in elections this week, have not yet said whether the popular opposition leader will be set free. But lawyer Nyan Win told reporters Wednesday that any release must be unconditional.

The opposition leader has spent most of the past 20 years in some form of detention, and during her periods of freedom, authorities have imposed limits on her movements and political activities.

But Nyan Win said she has never accepted limited freedom in the past and she will not do so now.

The French news agency (AFP) quotes unidentified Burmese officials saying they are making preparations for Aung San Suu Kyi's release but have not yet received an order from their superiors. The sources say they expect to receive instructions "at the last minute."

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate's youngest son, Kim Aris, has traveled from Britain to Thailand, where he is trying to secure a visa to travel to Burma in hopes she will be freed.

Aung San Suu Kyi has always been the most popular and effective Burmese critic of the military junta, with the ability to mobilize large crowds in opposition to its rule.

However the junta is eager to present a more sympathetic image to the world following the country's first elections in 20 years.

A pro-government party is claiming to have won about 80 percent of the seats in the parliament, confirming predictions by critics of the regime that the balloting had been set up to guarantee the junta's desired outcome.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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