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Suu Kyi files final appeal of house arrest extension

Lawyers for pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] filed a final appeal in Myanmar's Supreme Court on Monday challenging the 18-month extension of her house arrest. The appeal requests that the court forward her case [AP report] to the Special Appellate Branch, a multi-judge panel that represents Suu Kyi's last means of legal recourse in the matter. Prior appeals to the supreme court in February and to a divisional court in October were rejected after a lower court found her guilty [JURIST reports] of violating the terms of her house arrest when she allowed an American to stay with her after he swam across a lake to her home. Suu Kyi's lawyer, Nyan Win, has argued that the extension to her arrest is based on provisions of the now-defunct 1974 constitution.

Last month, Suu Kyi also filed suit before the Myanmar's Supreme Court to stop the dissolution of her opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) [party website] under a controversial election law [JURIST report]. Additionally, the claim seeks to annul the part of the election law that bars political prisoners [JURIST report] from participating in elections, which would prevent Suu Kyi from competing in this year's elections as she is not scheduled for release until November [JURIST report]. The suit also requests the establishment of a parliament of lawmakers who won in the 1990 elections. Suu Kyi has been in prison or under house arrest for 14 of the last 20 years.

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