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Myanmar authorities again close Suu Kyi trial

[JURIST] Authorities in Myanmar on Thursday closed the trial of pro-democracy advocate and Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] after briefly opening it to 30 foreign diplomats [JURIST report] Wednesday. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon [official website] said Wednesday that he plans to visit Myanmar "as soon as possible" to urge the release of Suu Kyi and other political prisoners. In an interview with CNN [video], Ban said that he was "deeply concerned" about the detention of "an indispensable patron for reconsidering the dialogue in Myanmar." Suu Kyi went on trial [JURIST report] Monday for violating the terms of her house arrest after an American man swam across a lake [NYT report] to her home. Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] has condemned Myanmar's actions, calling the charges "trumped up" [HRW report] and seeking international support for her release.

Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy, has spent 12 of the past 18 years in prison or under house arrest for alleged violations of an anti-subversion law [text]. In 2007, the military government had implied that she might be released [JURIST report] after the country's new constitution was approved. In May 2008, the junta announced that Myanmar's draft constitution [JURIST news archive] had been overwhelmingly approved [JURIST report], but the ruling junta at the same time extended Suu Kyi's house arrest for another year [JURIST report].

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