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World Briefing / Myanmar

U.N. ruling favors detained activist

March 24, 2009|Times Wire Reports

The United Nations has declared that the continued detention of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi violates Myanmar's laws as well as those of the international community, a legal document says.

Although the ruling is unlikely to win Suu Kyi's release from detention, it is uncommon for the world body to accuse a member country of violating its own laws. Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has spent 13 of the last 19 years under house arrest, with the ruling junta extending her detention each year despite international outcries.

The U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, an arm of the U.N. Human Rights Council, said Suu Kyi was being held under Myanmar's 1975 State Protection Law, which allows renewable arrest orders for only a maximum of five years. The latest five-year period ended at the end of May 2008.

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