NLD appeals against Daw Suu's detention

Jun 11, 2008 (DVB), The National League for Democracy has submitted an appeal to senior government members against the extension of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest, the pro-democracy party said yesterday.

NLD information officer U Nyan Win said the party had sent a letter signed by group chairperson U Aung Shwe to government officials in Naypyidaw.

The NLD claimed in a statement issued on Monday that the party leader's continued detention was unfair and against Burmese law.

"If the State Peace and Development Council believes that the extension of the detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was in accordance with the law, we ask the authorities to accept the appeal and open the case in accordance with the law," the statement said.

The military regime extended the detention of the Noble Peace Prize laureate for another year on 27 May.

According to a 1975 law on the protection of the state from "destructive elements" under which she has been detained, a person can only be held without charge or trial for a maximum of five years.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi finished her five-year term on 24 May.

"We demand that the SPDC accept our appeal against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's detention. We are ready for the court hearing," said NLD Special Information Committee member U Thein Nyunt.

"If the authorities deny our request it will be obvious that they are breaking their own law."

An article in the state media today countered claims that the detention was illegal, claiming that "subversive elements" could be held for up to six years, subject to the approval of government ministers.

The NLD's Nyan Win said similar claims by the Burmese ambassador to the United Nations, U Wunna Maung Lwin, were unfounded.

"As far as I understand, U Wunna Maung Lwin was only saying what he was told to say, and in fact he didn’t seem to understand what he was talking about," Nyan Win said.

"We are now challenging the government and pointing out that its extension of Daw Suu's house arrest is not according to the law," he said.

"They should release Daw Suu if they can’t prove this wrong , making random comments at random times carries no legal weight."

The NLD statement also declared the detention of NLD vice chairperson U Tin Oo, Kyauk Tan MP-elect Dr Than Nyein and Mayangone MP-elect Dr May Win Myint illegal.

The military junta has kept Daw Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest since the Depayin massacre of May 2003 in which dozens of her supporters were beaten to death by regime-backed civilians.

Reporting by Khin Hnin Htet and Aye Nai

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