Suu Kyi sentenced to more house arrest

Associated Press

Yangon, August 11

A Myanmar court convicted democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi today of violating her house arrest by allowing an uninvited American to stay at her home. The head of the military-ruled country ordered her to serve an 18-month sentence under house arrest.

The 64-year-old Nobel Peace laureate has already been in detention for 14 of the last 20 years, mostly under house arrest, and the extension will remove her from the political scene when the junta stages elections next year.

The ruling also convicted the American, John

Yettaw, and sentenced him to seven years.

But the term was less

severe than the maximum sentence she faced — five years in prison — and shorter than the one the court initially ordered today — three years with hard labour.

Five minutes after that sentence was read out, Home Minister Maj Gen Maung Oo entered the courtroom and read aloud a special order from junta chief Senior Gen Than Shwe, cutting the sentence in half and saying it could be served at home.

Than Shwe’s order, signed on Monday, likewise reduced the sentences of Suu Kyi’s two female house companions, Khin Khin Win and Win Ma Ma, to 18 months. Both are members of her political party.

Free Suu Kyi, American: Clinton

GOMA: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Myanmar Tuesday to release Aung San Suu Kyi after the Nobel peace laureate was sentenced to another 18 months of house arrest. Clinton also demanded that the military junta free John Yettaw, an American who was sentenced to seven years of hard labour for entering the detained democracy icon’s home. “She should not have been tried and she should not have been convicted,” Clinton said during a visit to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. “We continue to call for a release from her continuing house arrest.” “We also call for the release of more than 2,000 political prisoners including the American John Yettaw. We are concerned about the harsh sentence imposed on him, especially in light of his medical condition,” she said. — AFP

Myanmar faces more sanctions

BRUSSELS: Criticism poured in for Myanmar on Tuesday over the sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi as the EU promised more sanctions and one of its key regional partners called for the democracy icon’s immediate release.

“The EU will respond with additional targeted measures against those responsible for the verdict,” the European Union’s Swedish presidency said in a statement on behalf of the 27-nation bloc. President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso said Suu Kyi’s continued detention is “unjustified and unacceptable on all accounts.”

Fellow ASEAN member Indonesia also expressed concern, with the foreign ministry saying it was “very

disappointed” at the verdict. — AFP