The trial of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi continued
Wednesday, the sixth anniversary of her latest round of detention.
63-year-old Nobel Peace laureate has spent the 13 of the last 19 years
in detention, most of it at her lakeside home in the main city of
In a statement released Tuesday by the White House,
U.S. President Barack Obama condemned Aung San Suu Kyi's continued
detention, and urged Burma's military junta to release her immediately
and without conditions. Mr. Obama says her current trial is a "show
trial based on spurious charges."
Authorities lifted her latest
home detention order on Tuesday, but she has been held at Insein prison
since her arrest May 14 on charges of violating her house arrest, after
giving shelter to an American man who swam to her house unexpectedly in
the early morning hours of May 4.
The pro-democracy leader
testified Tuesday she allowed John Yettaw "temporary shelter" until he
left the next day. Her lawyers say she asked him to leave, but allowed
the American to stay overnight after he said he was too exhausted and
ill to swim back.
She acknowledged that she did not immediately inform Burmese military authorities about Yettaw's intrusion.
entered Burma on a tourist visa. He said he dreamt the opposition
leader would be assassinated, and that he traveled to Burma to warn her.
San Suu Kyi faces up to five years in jail if convicted. Two of her
caretakers and Yettaw himself also are facing trial. Critics say
Burma's military leaders are using the trial as a pretext to keep the
opposition leader under detention so she cannot participate in next
year's elections. Her National League for Democracy won Burma's 1990
elections, but the military refused to relinquish power.
and European Union foreign ministers meeting in Vietnam issued a joint
statement Tuesday calling for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other
Burmese political dissidents.
Several members of the Association
of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, have expressed grave concern
about Aung San Suu Kyi's trial. A group of ASEAN lawmakers called for
Burma's membership in the regional bloc to be suspended if she
continues to be detained.
A prominent group of global statesmen
and human rights activists known as The Elders have repeated their call
for the Burmese junta to release the opposition leader. Aung San Suu
Kyi is a member of the group, which is meeting in Morocco this week.
of human rights activists staged a demonstration outside the Burmese
Embassy in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh Wednesday calling for
Aung San Suu Kyi's release.