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Myanmar high court rejects Suu Kyi appeal

The Myanmar Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an appeal by pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] challenging the conditions of her house arrest. The appeal is largely symbolic, as Suu Kyi is scheduled to be released [JURIST report] on Saturday. However, Suu Kyi's lawyers fear that the ruling could be a sign that conditions will be attached [BBC report] to her release. The Supreme Court announced [JURIST report] in October that it would hear the appeal that Suu Kyi lodged in May. Despite a scheduled hearing for October 18, the court waited until after Sunday's controversial elections [JURIST report] to decide against Suu Kyi. The elections were the first held in Myanmar in 20 years, and have received heavy international criticism. Suu Kyi's lawyers indicated that she will not accept any conditions on her release, and it is anticipated that she will assist in a challenge [AP report] against the election results in which the ruling party maintained its hold on power.

Suu Kyi was prohibited from participating in the election under current Myanmar election laws [JURIST report]. In October, Suu Kyi filed an appeal [JURIST report] to the Supreme Court challenging the dissolution of the National League for Democracy (NLD) [party website]. In June, an independent UN human rights expert called for the release [JURIST report] of Suu Kyi and other political prisoners in Myanmar, claiming their continued detention "contravenes international human rights law and casts a long shadow over planned elections in the country." Suu Kyi originally challenged the election law [JURIST report] dissolving the NLD in April, but her suit was rejected. In March, the NLD announced that it would not take part in the nation's first elections in 20 years after the Myanmar Supreme Court rejected [JURIST reports] a lawsuit brought by the NLD to repeal the election laws preventing Suu Kyi from participating.

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