Dangerous Situation for World’s Only Imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize Recipient
Doctor Under Arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi Ill
May 11th, 2009
Contact: Jennifer Quigley at 202-234-8022
(Washington, DC) The U.S. Campaign for Burma today called on world leaders to demand Burma’s military dictator Than Shwe immediately free the country’s imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi and her physician who has been detained since last Thursday. The Campaign especially urged U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to speak out for the freedom of Aung San Suu Kyi and her doctor.
“The world needs to act urgently to ensure that Aung San Suu Kyi is released immediately, so that she will have all the medical attention she needs,” said Aung Din, co-founder of the U.S. Campaign for Burma. “The arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi’s doctor puts her in a seriously dangerous situation.”
Aung San Suu Kyi, the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient, is reportedly suffering from extremely low blood pressure and has not eaten in days — yet, Than Shwe’s military regime arrested her doctor on May 7th and only allowed a junior doctor to monitor her situation. Without full medical care, it is impossible to know details of her condition and whether she is okay. She has been detained for almost six years since May 30, 2003, when she and her party members were brutally attacked by the regime’s militias in Depayin, Burma. Scores of party members were killed and she was put into detention. According to the law, used by the regime to justify her continued detention, she can only be detained for a maximum of six years. She will reach her sixth year under detention on May 24, 2009. However, the regime has shown no signs they intent to grant her freedom and just last week denied an appeal made by her lawyer for her release.
The regime has often refused medical care to gravely ill imprisoned political leaders in Burma, resulting in death.
Aung San Suu Kyi is the legitimate leader of Burma. Her political party, the National League for Democracy, won 82 percent of parliamentary seats in a national election in 1990, but the military regime refused to cede power. Known to many as “Asia’s Nelson Mandela”, Aung San Suu Kyi has won dozens of international awards for her non-violent struggle to bring an end to military rule in Burma. The military junta has been condemned by the United Nations, United States government, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other groups for its horrific human rights abuses.
To date, the United Nations has remained “puzzlingly” silent on the arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi’s doctor, added Aung Din.##
"Why should there be hunger and deprivation in any land, in any city, at any table, when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life?" ~Martin Luther King, Jr.