Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Burma's Suu Kyi Is Sentenced to Another 18 Months; STILL A PRISONER WORLD LEADERS CONDEMN 'SHAM' TRIAL OF DEMOCRACY CAMPAIGNER

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Burma's Suu Kyi Is Sentenced to Another 18 Months; STILL A PRISONER WORLD LEADERS CONDEMN 'SHAM' TRIAL OF DEMOCRACY CAMPAIGNER

Article excerpt

Byline: Kiran Randhawa

WORLD leaders today condemned the sentencing of the Burmese pro-democracy leader to an additional 18 months house arrest as "brutal and unjust".

Aung San Suu Kyi, 64, was convicted of breaking the terms of her house arrest by allowing an American into her lakeside home in May.

The Nobel peace laureate was originally told she would serve three years in jail after the hearing at Rangoon's Insein prison but this was immediately reduced to a year and a half by Burma's military ruler Than Shwe, who said she could serve the time in her home.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown attacked it as "a purely political sentence". He said he was "saddened and angry" by the "sham" verdict.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged the European Union to impose tougher sanctions on Burma, saying the verdict was "brutal and unjust".

Mr Sarkozy's office said in a statement that Ms Suu Kyi had been victim of a political trial that was aimed at preventing her from fighting for a free and democratic state.

"The Burmese authorities have shown with this iniquitous ruling their decision to ignore pressing messages from the international community," the statement said.

"The president asks the European Union to react rapidly by adopting new sanctions against the Burmese regime, which should particularly target the resources that it profits directly from -- wood and ruby mining."

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon urged Burma's military rulers "to immediately and unconditionally release" Ms Suu Kyi and to "engage with her without delay as an essential partner in the process of national dialogue and reconciliation". In a state-menthe added: "Unless she and all other political prisoners in Myanmar are released and allowed to participate in free and fair elections, the credibility of the political process will remain in doubt."

Ms Suu Kyi, an Oxford graduate, has already spent 14 of the past 20 years in detention of one sort or another. …

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