Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has accused a minister of making remarks that could prejudice her appeal against an extension of her house arrest, her lawyer said on Friday.
According to news reports this week by the U.S.-government backed Radio Free Asia and other media, Home Minister Maj. Gen. Maung Oo said that Ms. Suu Kyi would be freed in November. He made the remarks last week in a speech to local officials in central Myanmar, the reports said.
Ms. Suu Kyi’s lawyer Nyan Win said on Friday that the 64-year-old Nobel Peace laureate considered his remarks “absolutely unfair” and tantamount to influencing the court that is reviewing her appeal against the latest term of her house arrest - which is due to end in November anyway.
Ms. Suu Kyi, who has been detained for 14 of the past 20 years, was convicted in August of violating the terms of her previous detention by briefly sheltering an American who swam uninvited to her lakeside home. She was sentenced to 18 months’ house arrest, less three months spent in detention awaiting the end of her trial.
Mr. Nyan Win, who is also a spokesman for Ms. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, had already said the remarks only served to lower hopes that Ms. Suu Kyi might be freed ahead of elections. The ruling junta has announced that Myanmar’s first general elections in two decades would be held this year, but has given no date.
The last elections in 1990 were won by Ms. Suu Kyi’s party, but the results were never honoured by the military, which has ruled the country since 1962.
Ms. Suu Kyi’s lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court in November against the extension of her house arrest. The court is expected to issue a ruling soon.