Nobel prize-winners call for Suu Kyi release

Nine Nobel Peace Prize winners have called on Burma\’s military rulers to release pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from jail.

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Suu Kyi is being held in Rangoon\’s notorious Insein Prison, accused of violating her house arrest by harbouring a US man who swam to her home.

But the group, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Costa Rican President Osar Arias, says her trial is a “mockery”.

They have written to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and ASEAN, urging Burmese authorities to free their fellow laureate.

“The trial of Aung San Suu Kyi is a mockery. There\’s no legal system [in Burma],” the group said in their letter.

\’Trumped up\’ charges

The pro-democracy leader\’s protection was necessary for prosperity and stability in Burma and the whole of Southeast Asia, they said.

Jody Williams, Rigoberta Menchu, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Wangari Mathaai, Shirin Ebadi, Betty

Williams, and Mairead Corrigan Maguire all signed the document.

Aung San Suu Kyi has spent 13 of the last 19 years in jail or under house arrest at the hands of the Burmese junta, most of it at her lakeside house in Rangoon.

The 63-year-old is now on trial, facing up to another five years\’ detention, after an American tourist swam, uninvited, to her home.

Critics say the military regime has trumped up the charges to keep her locked up during elections due next year, and also to beat a May 27 deadline when her latest six-year period of detention expires.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said last week in a rare open letter that the imprisonment of Burma\’s 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate was “totally unacceptable”.