13 August 2009 The Security Council today added its voice to those calling for the release of all political prisoners in Myanmar, while expressing concern over this week’s verdict against pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
“The members of the Security Council express serious concern at the conviction and sentencing of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and its political impact,” Ambassador John Sawers of the United Kingdom, which holds the rotating Council presidency this month, said in a statement read out to the press.
Ms. Suu Kyi, who leads the National League for Democracy (NLD), was convicted on 11 August of violating state security laws after an uninvited United States citizen gained access to her home.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner, who has already spent over 12 years under house arrest, was sentenced to a further 18 months of the same punishment.
The Council also reiterated the importance of the release of all political prisoners and urged the Government of Myanmar “to take further measures to create the necessary conditions for a genuine dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all concerned parties and ethnic groups in order to achieve an inclusive national reconciliation.”
Earlier this week, both Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN human rights chief Navi Pillay deplored the decision by the Myanmar court and urged that Ms. Suu Kyi be released immediately and unconditionally.
“Unless she and all other political prisoners in Myanmar are released and allowed to participate in free and fair elections, the credibility of the political process will remain in doubt,” a spokesperson for Mr. Ban said in a statement.
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