Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi arrested - please sign petitions

Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Burmese opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has today been charged with breaching the conditions of her house arrest.  She faces five years in prison after a US citizen reportedly swam across the lake to her home and in doing so violated the ban on the opposition leader meeting with anyone without prior permission from the military junta.

Suu Kyi is currently held in the notorious Insein Prison in Rangoon, with two members of her house staff, under Section 22 of the State Protection Law for “subversion”.  Her trial is due to begin on 18 May 2009 and, if found guilty, she could remain imprisoned for a further five years.

Her house arrest was due to expire on 24 May 2009 and many believe that this is an excuse to keep the leader of the pro-democracy movement behind bars. The junta plans elections in 2010. Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory on 27 May 1990, but the military refused to recognise their right to rule and Suu Kyi is prohibited from holding office. Despite being effectively muzzled, after having spent 13 of the past 20 years in detention, she remains a hugely popular figure both inside the country and internationally.

It takes less than 2 minutes to email the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and ASEAN leaders urging them to take immediate action to secure the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, and to send envoys to Burma. Click here

Free Burma’s Political Prisoners Now aims to collect 888,888 signatures before 24 May 2009, the legal date that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi should have been released from house arrest. The military junta is notoriously superstitious and the target of 888,888, symbolises the timing of Burma’s largest democracy uprising (8 mins past 8 on 8 August 1988), when over 3000 protesters were massacred.

The petition calls on the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to make it his personal priority to secure the release of all political prisoners in Burma. Please sign before 24 May by clicking on petition