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Suu Kyi to appeal conviction for violating house arrest

[JURIST] Lawyers for Myanmar opposition pro-democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and American John Yettaw said Wednesday that they will file appeals against Tuesday's guilty verdicts [JURIST report]. Suu Kyi and Yettaw were convicted of violating state security laws after Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest, allowed Yettaw to stay in her home after he swam across a lake to visit her. Suu Kyi was sentenced to 18 more months of house arrest, and Yettaw was sentenced to seven years in prison, with four years of hard labor. Meanwhile, world leaders and human rights groups have continued to criticize Suu Kyi's trial and conviction. The Dalai Lama [official website] said [press release] he was "deeply saddened" by the sentence and called for her release. A spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon [official website] said [press release] that he "strongly deplores this decision," and that he "urges the Government to immediately and unconditionally release" Suu Kyi. Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] called the verdict [press release] "shameful."

Suu Kyi's trial resumed last month after a delay [JURIST reports] with the testimony of Khin Moe Moe, a member of Suu Kyi's National League of Democracy (NLD) [party website] party, who claimed the charges were politically motivated. In June, a Myanmar court sentenced [JURIST report] two members of the NLD to 18 months in prison after leading prayers for Suu Kyi's release. Her arrest was controversial and highly criticized [JURIST report] by the international community. She has spent 12 of the past 18 years in prison or under house arrest for alleged violations of an anti-subversion law [text, PDF]. News of Suu Kyi's trial has been met with criticism from numerous agencies and governments around the world. Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] has said the charges [press release] against Suu Kyi are "trumped up."

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