Obama condemns Suu Kyi conviction

Aug. 11, 2009 at 5:43 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama Tuesday condemned the sentencing of Myanmar pro-Democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi to additional home detention.

Obama called for Suu Kyi's "immediate unconditional release" in a statement issued by the White House while he was in Portsmouth, N.H., for a healthcare reform town hall meeting.

A Myanmar military court Tuesday extended the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's detention by 18 months, ruling she had violated house arrest rules after an internationally condemned trial. The 64-year-old opposition leader has spent 14 of the past 20 years under house arrest.

"The conviction and sentencing of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi today on charges related to an uninvited intrusion into her home violate universal principles of human rights, run counter to Burma's commitments under the ASEAN charter, and demonstrate continued disregard for U.N. Security Council statements," Obama said.

"Daw" is an honorific title afforded respected older women.

Suu Kyi was tried on accusations of allowing American John William Yettaw into her home, a charge she had denied. Yettaw, who swam across a lake to her home in May, was sentenced to seven years of hard labor after being convicted of violating immigration and other laws.

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