Senior General Than Shwe
Chairman, State Peace and Development Council
c/o Embassy of the Union of Myanmar
2300 S St. N.W
Washington, D.C. 20008
Dear Senior General:
I am writing to express my deep concern over the detention of teacher Ma Khin Khin Leh and National League for Democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Ma Khin Khin Leh was among a group of people planning a demonstration to take place in the town of Bago on July 19, 1999. Days before the protest was to occur, security agents arrested Ma Khin Khin Leh and her three-year-old daughter. On December 3, 1999, the Insein Special Court sentenced her to life imprisonment under vaguely worded security legislation. She is believed to be held at Insein Prison, where she reportedly suffers from a lung problem, rheumatoid arthritis, and dysentery. Amnesty International is concerned for her safety and well-being.
The politicized nature and broad provisions within Myanmar’s security laws, such as the 1950 Emergency Provisions Act, have unjustly punished individuals aspiring to exercise their individual freedom of expression and association. I urge you to amend these vaguely worded security laws to prevent them from being used to curtail the rights of the people of Myanmar.
Additionally, with well over 2,000 known political prisoners in Myanmar, the continued house arrest of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is of profound concern to the international community. Her detention is a reminder and a call to action of our common obligation to protect individuals at risk.
As the world celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which proclaims the indivisible human rights entitled to every person, I urge your government to seize this opportunity to demonstrate the legitimacy of Myanmar’s commitment to human rights by unconditionally releasing from detention Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Ma Khin Khin Leh, and all prisoners of conscience in Myanmar.