The international community is putting increasing pressure on Burma to release opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as her trial for alleged violation of the terms of her house arrest enters a fifth day.
Burmese monks and other supporters of the detained Nobel Prize laureate protested Friday in the Thai capital Bangkok outside the United Nations office, chanting and carrying signs saying: "Free Burma, free Aung San Suu Kyi."
The South African government Friday joined a number of countries and organizations demanding her release. The French news agency said France's minister for human rights, Rama Yade, will demand the immediate release of all of Burma's political prisoners at a meeting of European and Asian foreign ministers next week in Cambodia.
The U.S. Senate passed a resolution Thursday condemning the trial and calling for Aung San Suu Kyi's immediate release.
In response to the international outcry, Burma's military leaders Friday said the incident is treated according to law.
Burma's foreign minister, Nyan Win, has denied allegations that the government had framed its case against Aung San Suu Kyi. In an interview published Friday in the state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar he suggested the incident could have been created by the opposition to attract international attention.
Burmese authorities have accused Aung San Suu Kyi of violating the terms of her six-year house arrest for allowing American John Yettaw to stay at her house for two days after swimming to her lakeside residence on May 3.
Bangkok-based Burma analyst Larry Jagan said the regime is convinced of Aung San Suu Kyi's guilt. He said the authorities admitted foreign diplomats and a few journalist to the proceedings for one day on Wednesday to make the process credible.
The hearing of the case began Monday, days before her current six-day house arrest was due to expire on May 27. She is facing another five-year detention term.
Critics say Burma's military leaders want to keep her under detention and away from next year's elections. The opposition leader has been under house arrest for more than 13 of the past 19 years. Her National League for Democracy party won Burma's elections in 1990, but the country's military leaders have refused to relinquish power.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.