Aung-San-Suu-Kyi

Aung San Suu KyiBurma

Aung San Suu Kyi (born 19 June 1945) is the General Secretary of Burma’s National League for Democracy (NLD) and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. As the face of the pro-democracy movement in Burma, Ms. Suu Kyi embodies the peaceful struggle of the Burmese people to speak out against the military autocracy. She was illegally detained by the Burmese junta for nearly 15 of the past 21 years. For further background about Ms. Suu Kyi, click here. On November 13, 2010, the Burmese government released Aung San Suu Kyi.

During the 1988 protests against the military government, Ms. Suu Kyi gave numerous speeches calling for freedom and democracy in Burma. On July 20, 1989, the junta placed Ms. Suu Kyi under house arrest, without charge or trial. In 1990, the NLD and its allies won more than 80 percent of the seats in parliament; in what was Burma’s last and only democratic election. The military junta, however, never recognized the results. Ms. Suu Kyi, who would have been the leader of the rightfully elected government, remained under house arrest. She was released after nearly six years of arbitrary detention on July 10, 1995. Ms. Suu Kyi continued her outspoken opposition to the military junta’s practices and was again detained under illegal house arrest from 2000 to 2002.

Ms. Suu Kyi’s latest series of illegal detentions by the Burmese junta began in May 2003. Ms. Suu Kyi launched a 95-township tour to promote the activities of the NLD after her release from house arrest in May 2002. However, on May 30, 2003, her convoy was attacked by the junta-created Union Solidarity Development Association in an apparent assassination attempt. Over 70 of her supporters were murdered during the attempt. Ms. Suu Kyi was then placed into “protective custody” by the junta. This alleged protective custody was executed under Burma’s draconian State Protection Law and illegally applied to Ms. Suu Kyi.

On August 11, 2009, three months after she was due to be freed from her illegal house arrest of six years, Ms. Suu Kyi was sentenced to three years in prison, which was then commuted to 18 months of house arrest. According to the junta, this extension was justified by Ms. Suu Kyi’s alleged violation of the terms of her house arrest when American John Yettaw swam onto her property uninvited.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has found the detention of Ms. Suu Kyi a violation of international law six times.

On November 13, 2010, the Burmese junta released Aung San Suu Kyi from her illegal house arrest. “We are pleased the junta has finally released Aung San Suu Kyi from her house arrest,” said Freedom Now President Jared Genser. “Unfortunately, her release alone is virtually meaningless until the junta enters into an irreversible process of dialogue resulting in national reconciliation between the junta, the National League for Democracy, and ethnic groups and a restoration of democracy to Burma. For anyone who might mistakenly view this release as a sign of change, the international community should recall that Ms. Suu Kyi was released from house arrest three times previously – in the mid-1990s and early 2000s – and nothing fundamentally changed in the country.”

Ms. Suu Kyi was released on November 13, 2010, and continues to be a leading figure in the struggle for democracy and freedom in Burma.

Selected documents from Aung San Suu Kyi's case
A charade the U.S. can’t playOctober 25, 2010

Los Angeles Times Op-Ed by Jared Genser, marking 15 of the last 21 years that Aung San Suu Kyi has languished under house arrest.

A Tale of Two Burmas February 16, 2011

Refuting claims of real democratic reform in Burma and calling on the international community to support the legitimate aspirations of the Burmese People.

Burma's Next Wave of Dying May 21, 2008

Boston Globe Op-Ed by Chris Beyrer and Jared Genser.

Freedom Now Press ReleaseJune 18, 2008

Announcing the petition to the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

Freedom Now Press ReleaseMay 27, 2008

Deploring the illegal extension of Ms. Suu Kyi's house arrest.

Freedom Now Press ReleaseJune 16, 2006

Announcing a petition to the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

Freedom Now Press Release November 4, 2010

Regarding the 2010 "elections" in Burma.

Freedom Now Press Release November 13, 2010

Announcing that Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi has been released.

How Long Must the Burmese Wait?May 29, 2008

International Herald Tribune Op-Ed by Jared Genser and Meghan Barron.

Legal Memorandum by Jared GenserMay 28, 2008

Finding that the extension of Ms. Suu Kyi's house arrest was not authorized by law.

Letter from 112 Former Presidents and Prime Ministers to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moonDecember 3, 2008

Urging the Secretary General to press for the release of all political prisoners in Burma.

Letter from 12 Members of the US Senate Women's Caucus April 14, 2009

Calling on U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to exert more international political pressure on Burma’s military junta.

Letter from 17 Members of the US Congress to US Secretary of State Hillary ClintonApril 3, 2009

Urging Secretary Clinton to press for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Letter from 59 Former Heads of StateMay 15, 2007

Organized by former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik and Freedom Now, calling on the Burmese Junta to release Ms. Suu Kyi.

Now We Must Stand With The Lady November 15, 2010

The Times Op-Ed by Jared Genser calling on the international community to support Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma.

Opinion of the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary DetentionJune 16, 2010

Finding the detention of Ms. Suu Kyi a violation of international law.

Opinion of the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary DetentionMarch 24, 2009

Finding the detention of Ms. Suu Kyi in violation of international law.

Opinion of the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention August 8, 2007

Finding Ms. Suu Kyi's detention in violation of international law.

Petition to the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary DetentionAugust 11, 2009

Submitted by Freedom Now on behalf of Ms. Suu Kyi.

Petition to the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention June 18, 2008

Submitted by Freedom Now on behalf of Ms. Suu Kyi.

Petition to the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary DetentionJune 16, 2006

Submitted by Freedom Now on behalf of Ms. Suu Kyi.

SA Again Turns its Back on Plight of Burmese May 13, 2008

Business Day (Johannesburg, South Africa) Op-Ed by Jared Genser.

The Burmese Junta Still Fears Aung San Suu Kyi Suu KyiMay 18, 2009

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed by Jared Genser.

The Lady and the JuntaJune 2, 2007

International Herald Tribune Op-Ed by Jared Genser and Meghan Barron.

The Lie After the StormMay 9, 2008

Far Eastern Economic Review Op-Ed by Jared Genser and Jeremy Sarkin.