Junta Frees Suu Kyi
Release order read to democracy leader as house arrest expires
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 13, 2010 5:17 AM CST
A supporter of Myanmar's detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi cheers to photographers at the headquarters of her National League for Democracy, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010 in Yangon, Myanmar.   (Khin Maung Win)
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(Newser) – Myanmar's military government today freed its archrival, democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, after her latest term of detention expired. Several thousand jubilant supporters streamed to her residence. A smiling Suu Kyi, wearing a traditional jacket, appeared at the gate of her compound as the crowd chanted, cheered and sang the national anthem.

The 65-year-old Noble Peace Prize laureate, whose latest period of detention spanned 7 1/2 years, has come to symbolize the struggle for democracy in the Southeast Asian nation ruled by the military since 1962. The release from house arrest of one of the world's most prominent political prisoners came a week after an election that was swept by the military's proxy political party and decried by Western nations as a sham designed to perpetuate authoritarian control. Suu Kyi has been jailed or under house arrest for more than 15 of the last 21 years.