Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention extended
Yesterday, the regime extended Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention again. No formal announcement was made, but reports say the detention is for at least another six months. She has now spent over 12 of the last 18 years under house arrest. Her current period of house arrest began in 2003. The regime is once again breaking its own laws by extending her detention for a total of more than five years. The State Protection Law 1975, under which she is held, only allows the regime to detain her for a maximum of five years. Around 20 members of the National League for Democracy were also arrested yesterday as they marched to her home to call for her release.
Even though UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was in Burma in the run-up to Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention expiring, he did not call on Burma’s generals to release her. In fact, he didn’t even mention her name. The international community is failing to put pressure on the regime because it is afraid it will affect aid deals. However, the current humanitarian crisis is being caused by a political problem, a dictatorship that refuses to allow aid to reach the people and Aung San Suu Kyi is key to solving that political problem.
More than three weeks after the devastating cyclone in Burma, at least 200,000 people are feared dead and 2.5 million people remain in urgent need of aid. Most people have still not received the aid they desperately need because the regime continues to deny aid workers free access to operate in the areas most severely affected by the cyclone. Following reports that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon had secured agreement from Burma's generals for aid workers to be allowed into the country, it was hoped that things would change. However, it is now clear that the regime is not keeping its word. We continue to receive reports that aid workers are being denied visas and unable to operate freely in the worst affected areas. The US, UK and France are still being blocked from using their resources to deliver the large scale emergency and medical assistance needed.
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Will Ferrel speaks out for Burma
Comedian Will Ferrel joins other celebrities in a month-long campaign highlighting Burma’s struggle for freedom and democracy. Watch his video on our YouTube channel: <http://www.youtube.com/burmacampaignuk>
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