| Aung San Suu Kyi poses in Chin costume during a trip to Chin state in Myanmar in April. (AP)
London, June 19 (Reuters): Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is being held in the “notorious” Insein Jail on the outskirts of Yangon, Britain said today.
Foreign office minister Mike ’Brien said in a statement he was trying to contact the Suu Kyi and said her detention was “totally unacceptable”.
Suu Kyi and other Opposition leaders touring the north of Myanmar were detained on May 30 after violent clashes between her supporters and pro-government groups. The military said the Nobel peace laureate was taken into “protective custody”.
“I am appalled to learn today, on her 58th birthday, Aung San Suu Kyi is being held in the notorious Insein Jail on the outskirts of Rangoon in a two-room hut,” ’Brien said.
“I understand that she continues to wear the clothes in which she was arrested.”
He said he was “particularly disturbed” to hear that Suu Kyi was being held under Section 10(a) of the 1975 State Protection Law. ’Brien described this as the “most draconian” of the Burmese military regime’s laws, allowing detention without access to family or lawyers for 180 days at a time, for up to a total of 5 years, with no prospect of appeal.
“This completely discredits the regime’s claim that she is being held in ‘protective custody’,” he said. He said he had the telephone number of the jail and was trying to contact her.
“It is totally unacceptable that she should be detained in this manner, and I call upon senior Gen. Than Shwe to release her, and all other political prisoners, immediately,” ’Brien added. Yesterday, US secretary of state Colin Powell demanded Myanmar’s “brutal rulers” release Suu Kyi.