[JURIST] Detained Myanmarian democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] has met with a lawyer to discuss the legality of her detention, a spokesman for the National League for Democracy party said Sunday. This was apparently the first time in five years that Suu Kyi has been allowed to consult with a legal representative. In May, the ruling junta extended Suu Kyi's house arrest for another year [JURIST report], a decision that has angered many international human rights organizations and activists. The extension is said to violate a Myanmarian law barring the government from detaining a person for over five years without trial, although a June editorial in state newspaper New Light of Myanmar [media website] said that the law authorized detentions for up to six years. AP has more.
Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy, has spent 11 of the past 17 years in prison or under house arrest for alleged violations of an anti-subversion law [text]. Last year, the military government had implied that she might be released [JURIST report] after the country's new constitution was approved. In May, the junta announced that Myanmar's draft constitution [JURIST news archive] had been overwhelmingly approved [JURIST report] in a national referendum after two rounds of voting with 92 percent of votes cast favoring the proposed charter and 98 percent of the country's 27 million eligible voters turning out.