Monday, August 24, 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi worse off this time in detention: lawyer

by Phanida

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Detained Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi’s situation under house arrest this time around is worse than her earlier term, her lawyer Nyan Win said.

The Burmese opposition leader was escorted back to her lakeside house on August 11, after her three-year prison with hard labour was commuted to 18 months.

“But since her return, the situation under which she is detained seems to be far more complicated and is worse than her earlier house arrest term,” said Nyan Win, who is also the spokesperson for her party – the National League for Democracy.

He said, the eight-point condition imposed on her by the regime is amorphous and has created far more confusion.

“We don’t know if she can accept guests or whether the guests have to first seek permission. Even we, her lawyers, are not sure of the implications of the eight-point condition,” Nyan Win said.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s sentence was commuted from three years with hard labour by an executive order from the junta supremo Snr Gen Than Shwe, which was read out in the court on August 11. The order also imposed eight conditions that she had to abide by.

Than Shwe’s order, however, said she could be released if she is found serving her suspended sentence without violating the conditions.

The eight-point condition includes living in her lakeside house, freedom to stroll in the compound of her house, receiving medical treatment, receiving guests with prior permission from the authorities, allowed to watch Myanmar Television (MRTV), allowed to read books and journals and newspapers published after censorship and allowed to write to authorities if she wanted to do anything and seeking the permission of the concerned authorities before doing anything.

Nyan Win said the conditions are confusing and unclear. But he said, these points clearly indicate that the government wants Aung San Suu Kyi to steer clear of politics.

On August 11, the pro-democracy leader was visited by a physician sent by the government for a health check up, Nyan Win said.

“I don’t know if the doctor had examined her [Aung San Suu Kyi], but what she told us is that she had requested the authorities to send her family doctor Dr. Tin Myo Win,” Nyan Win said.

Following her return to her lakeside home, authorities removed two other workers living inside the compound of her house and only allowed her two party housemates – Khin Khin Win and Win Ma Ma – to stay with her.

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