Myanmar’s pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi is free for the first time in seven years.
And, as the opposition leader emerged from the home that had been her prison, more than 1,000 supporters were in raptures.
Suu Kyi greeted them, urging unity. “Only then can we achieve our goal,” she said. Her words indicate she is set to continue her struggle against the military dictatorship in the country also known as Burma.
The Nobel peace laureate placed a flower from a member of the crowd in her hair.
Rumours had been rife that the 65-year-old would be freed today, as her latest spell of house arrest expired. As the crowd swelled around her home in the capital, armed riot police urged Suu Kyi’s increasingly vocal supporters to move back. But when the barricades were finally removed, they knew her release was imminent.
Detained for 15 of the past 21 years, she has now met members of her National League for Democracy and urged supporters to hear her speak on Sunday.
The party has been disbanded by the regime which sees Suu Kyi as less of a threat after last weekend’s elections, which were officially won by an army-backed party.