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Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese opposition party leader and devoted advocate for the democratization of Myanmar, was today charged alongside 3 activists and party members for the alleged violation of the rules of her house arrest. Currently being held in Insein Prison, Aung San Suu Kyi is to reappear before the court on May 18th to face trial; if convicted, the human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate may face a 5-year prison term. The present controversy and arbitrary charges laid out today stem from a spurious attempt by a repressive government to extend the unlawful, 13-year long detention of Suu Kyi, which is set to expire on the 27th of this month. As the Burmese people prepare for the 2010 elections, this shameful and transparent act on the part of the government to further silence a respected voice of democracy cannot be tolerated.

Vital Voices echoes the call of countless organizations and governments in a demand for the immediate and unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi and her fellow detainees.

In the spring of 2008, Vital Voices honored the women of Burma with the Human Rights Global Leadership Award as a testimony to the remarkable courage and commitment of political activists such as Suu Kyi and Charm Tong. Today we again honor the work of Aung San Suu Kyi and insist upon her release as essential for the development and fulfillment of the democratic promise of Myanmar.