photo by jon nicholson

feature story - World Leaders, Governing Bodies Condemn Suu Kyi Prison Sentence

august 11th, 2009

On Tuesday, leaders from the US, UK, France, Italy, Canada, South Africa, and Malaysia criticized the decision to sentence Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to 18 months under house arrest. Regional bodies, including the EU and ASEAN, said Suu Kyi's incarceration calls into question the legitimacy of the ruling military regime's planned 2010 elections. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement saying he "strongly deplored" the decision and called on the Burmese military government "to immediately and unconditionally release" the Nobel Laureate, and to "engage with her without delay as an essential partner in the process of national reconciliation."

A statement from the EU confirmed the 27-nation bloc would respond to the verdict by boosting sanctions against the regime, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy adding that targeted sanctions were needed on the country's gem and timber industries. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called for the UN Security Council to impose a worldwide ban on the sale of arms to the military regime. India, one of Burma's largest trading partners, "emphasized to the Government of Myanmar the need to expedite their political reform and national reconciliation process." The Malaysian foreign minister pushed for an "urgent meeting" among his ASEAN counterparts following announcement of the verdict, and UN diplomats said it was "likely the Security Council would meet later on Tuesday to discuss the verdict passed for violation of an internal security law."

A full press round-up of the global outcry over the Suu Kyi verdict follows below.

 

UN: "Deploring Burma verdict, Ban urges immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi" (UN News Centre)

US: "Statement by the President on Aung San Suu Kyi's conviction and sentencing" (The White House)

US: "Clinton: Conviction of Burma's Suu Kyi wrong" (AP)

EU: "Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the verdict against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi" (ISRIA)

UK: "PM 'angry' at Aung San Suu Kyi guilty verdict" (AFP)

France: "France demands tougher EU sanctions on Burma" (Reuters)

Malaysia: "Malaysia Says Suu Kyi's Sentence 'Regrettable Verdict'" (BERNAMA)

Philippines: "RP slams guilty verdict on Suu Kyi" (Yahoo)

Singapore: "Singapore disappointed at verdict of Aung San Suu Kyi's trial" (AsiaOne)

India: "India says Burma must expedite political reform" (Reuters)

Australia: "Australia condemns Suu Kyi conviction" (Sydney Morning Herald)

Ireland: "Martin condemns conviction of Aung San Suu Kyi" (Belfast Telegraph)

Canada: "Canada calls Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest 'vindictive'" (AFP)

The Elders: "Aung San Suu Kyi verdict is a gross travesty of justice"

Human Rights Watch: "Aung San Suu Kyi Verdict 'Reprehensible'"

Amnesty International: "Suu Kyi's New Sentence 'Shameful'"

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