Thursday, 14 November 2019

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Suu Kyi legal team expects her release before election

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi looks set for release before nationwide elections to be held in a matter of days, according to one of her lawyers outside Burma’s top court in Naypyidaw, where the special appeal against her house arrest began today.

suu-kyi-campbell2s1s“I believe that Aung San Suu Kyi will be free before the election,” Nyan Win, one of three lawyers representing her, told Mizzima.

Khin Htay Kywe and Kyi Win joined Nyan Win as assistant counsel before the Special Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court in the junta’s capital, which had accepted the special appeal after two lower courts rejected the basis of arguments made by Suu Kyi’s legal team.

Chief Justice Aung Toe led Deputy Chief Justice Tun Tun Oo and Justice Kyaw Win on the three-member panel in the three-hour hearing amid calls yesterday and today by respectively US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for release of all political prisoners in Burma,

Suu Kyi’s current sentence was due to expire on November 13, six days after Burma’s first elections in 20 years. Party members and supporters were expecting her to be released from detention at her home on Rangoon University Avenue road.

Nevertheless, the court had failed to fix a date for the next hearing, as was the junta courts usual practice, her lawyer said.

“The appeal is to test the state of Burma’s law and order. We seek not only the freedom of Aung San Suu Kyi but also to restore the rule of law,” Nyan Win highlighted repeatedly.

The leader of the National League for Democracy party has spent most of her life in detention of various forms since her party won the last national elections in a landslide in 1990.

Party members Han Thar Myint, May Win Myint, Win Myint, Thein Oo, Aye Aye Mar, Khin Saw Mu, Dr. Myo Aung, Lawyer Khin Maung Shein, Saw Nai Nai, and youth-wing members Myo Nyunt, Myint Myint Aye, Thuza Lwin, and Min Maw Oo were permitted to attend the trial.

Authorities imposed no unusual security arrangements during the trial or near the court, a 1990 elected member of parliament Saw Nai Nai told Mizzima.

Suu Kyi’s earlier failed appeals were submitted at district and division level courts.

She was originally sentenced in August last year to three years in jail after US citizen John Yettaw ’s uninvited visit after he twice swam to her home beside Inya Lake in Rangoon in May last year. Amid great international pressure, junta chief Than Shwe ordered that the sentence be halved and commuted to house arrest.

Burma’s Foreign Minister Nyan Win had told journalists in Hanoi before the Asean regional summit on Thursday that Suu Kyi might be freed after the elections.

There are more than 2,000 political prisoners including Suu Kyi in Burma. The NLD is boycotting the forthcoming election. On October 25, it issued a statement which told the people that choosing not to vote was a basic constitutional right.


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