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Aung San Suu Kyi

Volume 498: debated on Thursday 29 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received of the conditions under which Aung San Suu Kyi is being held; what recent discussions he has had with the government of Burma on the matter; and if he will make a statement. (296494)

Aung San Suu Kyi’s latest term of 18 months under house arrest began with the conclusion of her sham trial on 11 August 2009. The terms of her detention were stated by the court to be:

she must remain on her compound;

she would be permitted medical treatment from her own doctor when required;

she could read state and private Burmese newspapers (subject to censorship) and watch the two state TV channels ;

she could communicate with others in writing, with prior consent by the authorities;

she would be permitted visitors, subject to approval by the authorities; and

she could make requests to the authorities to meet any other needs she might identify.

Aung San Suu Kyi has asked the regime for clarification on the terms of her detention and the processes that need to be observed but has not yet had a response. It is not yet clear whether these terms will be honoured in full by the Burmese authorities, but our ambassador to Burma, as local EU presidency, was allowed to meet Aung San Suu Kyi together with diplomats from the US and Australian embassies on 9 October 2009. This was a small, but welcome, development. We urge the authorities to allow her regular and unfettered access to her party and other democratic and ethnic leaders, and to embark on a genuine and inclusive process of dialogue and national reconciliation. We continue to call for Aung San Suu Kyi’s immediate and unconditional release as well as the release of the more than 2,000 political prisoners detained alongside her.

Our ambassador raised the conditions of Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest with Burmese Ministers most recently on 16 October 2009, and will continue to do so at every opportunity.