UN Calls on Burma Junta to Release Suu Kyi
Rare critical report labels detention illegal under country's laws
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2009 5:46 AM CDT
Shackled protesters dramatize the continued detention of pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners in Burma during a protest at the Burmese Embassy in Manila.   (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
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(Newser) – Burma's continued detention of Aung San Suu Kyi violates both international law and the country's own criminal code, according to a UN report obtained by the AP. The pro-democracy leader has been under house arrest for 13 of last 19 years since her party won a landslide victory in the country’s 1990 elections. Burma's ruling junta, which refused to recognize the election, extends the detention yearly.

The report, which has been sent to the country's leaders, represents a rare move for the UN—which rarely accuses nations of violating their own laws. Authors of the report question whether Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi represents a genuine threat to the country's "public peace and tranquility" as the junta claims.