The AFL-CIO and the global union movement are demanding that Burma’s military dictatorship immediately free Nobel laureate and democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained since last Thursday. She was just six days short of completing her house arrest. She was taken to prison after a U.S. citizen swam a mile across a lake to her home and stayed overnight, which violated the terms of her house arrest.
Aung San Suu Kyi, 63, has been under house arrest for 13 of the past 19 years and reportedly is in poor health and in need of medical care. The military regime has given no indication that it will grant her freedom and just last week denied an appeal made by her lawyer for her release. A few days ago, she was transferred from her home to Insein Prison and threatened with new charges.
Aung San Suu Kyi is the legitimate leader of Burma and a recipient of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize. Her political party, the National League for Democracy, won 82 percent of the parliamentary seats in a national election in 1990, but the military regime refused to cede power.
Burma’s leaders have been roundly condemned by the United Nations, human rights groups and others for their brutal suppression of human and workers’ rights.
In its statement, the AFL-CIO says:
The Burmese military regime must be held accountable for Aung San Suu Kyi’s proper medical care and must allow for her complete freedom of movement. The AFL-CIO calls for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Last week, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) called for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and the more than 2,100 political prisoners in Burma. The ITUC statement quoted the democracy leader saying
the release of political prisoners is the most important thing for all those who truly wish to bring about change in Burma.
The ITUC noted that the U.N. Security Council has called for political prisoners to be released but must do more to make sure this happens.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the two top members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) and ranking minority member Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), also called for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi.
You can help by going here and urging U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to make the release of Burma’s political prisoners his personal priority.