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Lawyer appeals for opposition leader’s freedom

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October 11, 2008

Myanmar: Lawyer appeals for opposition leader’s freedom
A lawyer for Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said Friday that he has filed an appeal with the country's military government against her detention, reported the Associated Press.

Kyi Win said the appeal, delivered Wednesday by his assistant, was based on nine grounds including the fact that "she was never a threat to the security of the state."

Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi has been detained continuously since May 2003. There is a worldwide campaign urging her release.

The 1975 anti-subversion law under which she has been confined without trial says detentions of up to five years at a time are permissible for those who could be a threat to public order.

Her house arrest was extended by one year in May this year, an apparent violation of a law that stipulates that no one can be held longer than five years without being released or put on trial.

But a commentary in June in the state-owned New Light of Myanmar newspaper, which closely reflects government opinion, said detentions are permissible for as long as six years.

Asked if there is any indication if or when the government will hear the appeal at a court, Kyi Win said, "we still don't know, but we have to be hopeful."

Suu Kyi, who has been detained for more than 12 of the past 19 years, has been allowed to meet Kyi Win at her lakeside house since August to draft the appeal and the lawyer said he plans to meet her once again this month for further discussions.

Myanmar has been under military rule since 1962. The current junta came to power in 1988 after crushing a nationwide pro-democracy uprising. It held elections in 1990 but refused to honor the results after Suu Kyi's party won a landslide victory.

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