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Myanmar politics: Opposition leader protests ‘illegal’ detention
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Feature:
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September 6, 2008

Myanmar politics:
Opposition leader protests ‘illegal’ detention

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has for the past three weeks has refused food deliveries to her home, where she is under house, DPA reported.

Her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), confirmed that Suu Kyi had refused to receive food packages from friends for the past three weeks to protest her unlawful detention which has "exceeded the legal limit."

Suu Kyi has been under house detention in her family home in Rangoon since May 2003, on charges of disturbing the peace.

The detention followed an attack by pro-military thugs on Suu Kyi's convoy in Depayin, Sagaing division in northern Myanmar on May 30, 2003. Several of her followers were killed in the melee.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been kept in near complete isolation, allowed monthly visits by her doctor and occasional visits by UN special envoys.

Last month she refused to meet with UN special envoy to Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari on the grounds that he had done nothing to secure her freedom.

Over the past two months Suu Kyi has been allowed three meetings with her lawyer Kyi Win, which is unusual.

Under Myanmar emergency law political prisoners can only be kept under detention for a maximum of five years on charges of disturbing the peace, but Suu Kyi's detention was last May extended for another six months, raising legal questions.

The Myanmar ruling junta has been sending mixed signals about the duration of Suu Kyi's incarceration.

There have been hints that she may be released within six months, but many observers believe it is unlikely that she will be released before the next general election slated for 2010.

Suu Kyi's NLD party won the 1990 polls by a landslide, but the party has been denied power by the military for 18 years and she has been kept under house arrest for around 13 of the past 18 years.

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