Suu Kyi’s detention appeal rejected

Judges rejected an appeal by the democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi against her extended house arrest, lawyers and officials said.

A divisional court in Rangoon upheld the Nobel laureate’s conviction in August over an incident in which an American man swam uninvited to her home, earning her an extra 18 months in detention.

”The appeal was rejected but we will take it to the High Court,” said Ms Suu Kyi’s lawyer, a spokesman for her National League for Democracy party, Nyan Win, after the hearing.

In August a court at Rangoon’s notorious Insein prison sentenced the frail 64-year-old to three years’ hard labour. The junta chief, Than Shwe, reduced that to 18 months’ house arrest.

Two female assistants living with Ms Suu Kyi received the same sentence and also had appeals against their rulings rejected yesterday.

John Yettaw, the American who triggered the debacle by swimming to her lakeside mansion in May, was sentenced to seven years’ hard labour, but the regime freed him following a visit by the US senator Jim Webb.

Military-ruled Burma has faced intense international pressure to free Ms Suu Kyi, who has been detained for 14 of the past 20 years and was not given permission to attend yesterday’s hearing.

Last week’s ruling came amid a tentative change in the political winds. Last week the US announced it was modifying its policy of seeking to isolate the regime and would instead try to engage it through talks. But the US will not give up its political and economic sanctions.

The top US US diplomat for the region, Kurt Campbell, told a Senate subcommittee on Wednesday that lifting sanctions as the Administration tried to start a dialogue, without Burma making any democratic changes, would be a mistake.

See also: Aung San Suu Kyi meets ambassador for sanctions talks


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