The trial of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyii has got under way in a prison in Yangon, amid an international outcry over what critics say are trumped-up charges.
The country’s military rulers have accused her of breaking the conditions of her house arrest, which had been due to expire on May 27 after six years of detention. Suu Kyii’s supporters say the trial is aimed at keeping her locked-up ahead of multi-party elections in 2010. If convicted, she faces three to five years in jail. The charges have provoked widespread criticism from around the world. Hassan Wirajuda, Indonesia’s foreign minister, said: “By bringing Aung San Suu Kyii to trial today…it’s a wrong message. The elections, which are planned to be held next year, are meant to promote democracy, and the prosecution of Aung San Su Kyii is certainly a concern.” It is not clear when the verdict will be announced. Suu Kyii’s supporters, some of whom staged a mock trial in Bangkok in protest, say they will picket Myanmar embassies around the world today. An American man who trigged the case by sneaking into Suu Kyii’s home is also being tried.