FDFA condemns the extension of the house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi

Bern, Press release, 11.08.2009

The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) condemns the sentence handed down today against Aung San Suu Kyi of an additional 18 months’ house arrest.

The FDFA considers the verdict to be part of a politically motivated criminal procedure that is fundamentally incompatible with international standards of law. Furthermore, it considers that this sentence calls into serious question the announcements made by the Government of Myanmar on several occasions to hold free democratic elections in 2010.

For the FDFA, it is a matter of serious concern that individuals in Myanmar continue to be arrested and detained only for exercising the right to freedom of speech and expression, the right to association and assembly, or for pursuing peaceful political activities. Switzerland regrets that the number of political prisoners in Myanmar has increased in the last two years, now totalling more than 2000.  

For this reason, the FDFA supports the demands of the UN Secretary General towards the Government of Myanmar to release immediately all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, to engage in a substantive dialogue with the opposition, and to establish credible conditions for conducting free and fair elections.

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