Lawyer: Detention now worse for Suu Kyi

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

YANGON, Myanmar -- The conditions of Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's detention have gotten worse since her conviction for violating terms of her previous house arrest, her lawyer said Tuesday. Myanmar's government has not responded to Suu Kyi's request for a visit by her personal physician, said Nyan Win, her lawyer and spokesman for her National League for Democracy party. Nyan Win also said he and his colleagues have not yet been given permission to meet with her since they last met to consult on filing an appeal about a week after her Aug. 11 conviction.

"The present regulations imposed on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi are worse than the previous rules," he said. "Daw" is a term of respect.

A Myanmar court found Suu Kyi, 64, guilty of sheltering an uninvited American visitor. Her sentence of three years in prison with hard labor was reduced to 18 months of house arrest by order of military junta leader Senior Gen. Than Shwe.

Suu Kyi was returned to her tightly guarded home the day she was convicted. She has been detained for about 14 of the past 20 years for her nonviolent political activities, but this year was the first time she faced criminal charges.

The court stipulated eight rules for her new term of house arrest, which were generally seen as slightly more liberal than her previous detention, which kept her in almost complete isolation.

Now Suu Kyi and two female companions can receive visitors with prior permission from the authorities, have the right to medical treatment by doctors and nurses, and are allowed to read state-controlled newspapers and magazines and watch state-run television.

But Nyan Win said authorities still had not agreed on Suu Kyi's request to allow her personal doctor to visit instead of one provided by the government.

He said Suu Kyi wanted her personal doctor "as the doctor knows her medical history well."

Suu Kyi earlier told her lawyers she needed clarification from the authorities regarding the terms of her house arrest regarding matters such as visitation rights and medical coverage.

Nyan Win said it is not clear if she will be permitted to meet people she wants to see, or if people who want to visit her can request permission.

Nyan Win said it is now more difficult to send Suu Kyi books than when she was in Insein Prison during her trial because every book has to pass through scrutiny, taking days.

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