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Opposition leader’s lawyer resorts to pleading

Apr 9, 2009 (DVB), The lawyer of imprisoned opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said that only pleading with the government will allow him access to his client, as her stated release date draws closer.

Kyi Win is planning to send another letter to the Burmese prime minister this Friday requesting permission to see his detained client and urging authorities to consider previous appeals.

He said, however, that a request alone will achieve very little.

"As he is the prime minister, you have to plead with him," he said.

"We have to discuss among ourselves whether the plea is responded to in time or not."

Aung San Suu Kyi was first placed under house arrest after the 1990 elections in which her National League for Democracy party won a resounding victory.

She has spent 13 of the last 19 years in detention.

Her latest stint will reach its six-year mark on 27 May. She was imprisoned in 2003 following the Depayin massacre, when soldiers opened fire on a convoy she was traveling in, killing 70 NLD supporters. Her detention has been continuously extended since.

On 27 May, Kyi Win will also request her release.

"There are only 48 days left of her detention. The authorities should try to be nice and release her," he said.

"The earlier she is released, the better."

After the Depayin massacre, Kyi Win was allowed to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi five times. Restrictions on his access to her have since gradually tightened.

Reporting by Thurein Soe


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