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Senior UN envoy urges Myanmar military to free pro-democracy leader after visit

[JURIST] The UN's top political official has asked Myanmar's military government to release political prisoner and rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi [advocacy website; BBC profile] after meeting with the rights activist [UN News report] over the weekend. Suu Kyi has been under house arrest in Myanmar for 17 years, and UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari [UN profile], who was also allowed access to Suu Kyi [JURIST report] in May when Myanmar extended her detention for another year, expressed his optimism Saturday that Suu Kyi may be released soon.

Suu Kyi is a 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate [1991 award website] who has been held either in jail or under house arrest [JURIST report] for more than ten of the past 16 years under a broad anti-subversion law [text], which provides for one-year extensions of detentions. She is prohibited from contact with any outside visitors or telephone conversations, other than with her housemaid or doctor. Gambari, in Myanmar on a four-day visit, also urged officials to improve their overall human rights record. AFP has more.

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