Burma court rejects Suu Kyi appeal

An NLD member walks past a picture of Aung San Suu Kyi as he arrives at the NLD headquarters in Rangoon

Burma’s top court has rejected the appeal by pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi against her house arrest.

Her current detention order expires on 13 November anyway, prompting speculation that she could be freed on Saturday. However Ms Suu Kyi’s lawyer told the BBC she was highly unlikely to accept a conditional release if it excluded her from political activity. Ms Suu Kyi has been detained for 15 of the past 21 years. She was originally due to be released last year. But a case involving an American who swam across Inya Lake to her home, claiming he was on a mission to save her, prompted the latest detention. ‘Absolutely wrong’ This mainly symbolic appeal was the final chance for Ms Suu Kyi to argue against her conviction for breaking the terms of her detention. But a lawyer for the Nobel peace laureate said that she had lost her case. “The court rejected our appeal and upholds the previous court decisions,” Nyan Win told the Associated Press news agency. “This decision is absolutely wrong and shows the state of the justice system in the country.” In the wake of Sunday’s election which appears to have left military-backed parties firmly in control, there is speculation that the ruling generals could free Ms Suu Kyi when her detention order expires on Saturday. Her lawyer has told the BBC, however, that she would not accept conditions on her freedom. “[Ms Suu Kyi] will not accept a limited release,” Nyan Win said. Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party boycotted the poll – the first in Burma for 20 years – and was ordered to dissolve for refusing to take part. The NLD won the last election in 1990 but was never allowed to take power. This election has been widely criticised by the West as a sham aimed at perpetuating military rule in civilian guise. US President Barack Obama described the poll as “neither free nor fair”. The military’s proxy party, the USDP, says it has won 80% of the vote, although formal results have not yet been released.

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