Tuesday 24 October 2017

Fears for release of democracy fighter

Andrew Buncombe

Activists have questioned a report that says Burmese officials have declared their intention to release iconic democracy fighter Aung San Suu Kyi when her house arrest ends on November 13.

But a news agency report quoted two unidentified officials who said she would be set free six days after the election planned for November 7. "November will be an important and busy month for us because of the election and because of Aung San Suu Kyi's release," a Burmese official was quoted as saying.

Another unidentified official said: "She will be released on that day according to the law."

Ms Suu Kyi (65) and her National League for Democracy party will play no role in the election. Her party voted to boycott the polls because it said they could not be considered fair while so many political prisoners remained behind bars.

Last night, Mark Farmaner, of the Burma Campaign UK, questioned the report.

"We hope this report is correct but regime officials have said similar things in the past," he said. Mr Farmaner said even if she was released it may not be as significant as was assumed.

"She has been released twice before without there being any political change in the country," he explained.

"It is more likely that the dictatorship will try to use her release to attempt to persuade the international community to relax pressure on them." (© Independent News Service)

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