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A court in Burma has rejected an appeal for the release of detained
democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Her lawyers say they will appeal to
a higher court.
Lawyers for Aung San Suu Kyi say a district court in Rangoon Friday rejected their appeal for her release.
democracy activist's lawyers had argued that the laws she was sentenced
under are based on a defunct constitution and are therefore invalid.
Nyan Win is one of Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyers. He says they will appeal to a higher court where they still have some hope.
says although the appeal was rejected, the court accepted their
argument that the 1974 constitution could not be used. He says they
argued that the restrictions imposed on Aung San Suu Kyi are according
to the 1974 constitution, so the case against her should be annulled.
But he says the court ruled the restrictions are still valid even
though the constitution is not. He says they will prepare to submit an
appeal to the high court.
In August, a court sentenced Aung
San Suu Kyi to 18 months house arrest for allowing an uninvited
American man to stay at her home without official permission.
The American man, John Yettaw, was sentenced to seven years of hard labor but released on humanitarian grounds and deported.
trial was internationally condemned as a sham designed by Burma's
military rulers to keep the opposition leader locked up through next
Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won Burma's last elections in 1990 but the military ignored the results.
They have kept Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for most of the past two decades.
court's decision to uphold the sentence comes just days after the
United States announced it would engage with Burma's military leaders
to push for democracy.
But Washington says it will maintain
economic sanctions against Burma until there are real improvements in
the political situation.
The U.S., European Union and United
Nations have long pushed for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and more
than 2,000 other political prisoners in Burma.