Update Report 11 August 2009 Myanmar.doc - 11 August 2009 No 1 MYANMAR Expected Council Action At the time of writing the Council was expected to meet

Update Report 11 August 2009 Myanmar.doc - 11 August 2009...

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11 August 2009 No. 1 MYANMAR Expected Council Action At the time of writing the Council was expected to meet this afternoon to discuss the situation in Myanmar and the implications of Aung San Suu Kyi being sentenced to a further 18 months of house arrest after an 86 day trial. It is difficult to tell if the Council will be able to agree on an outcome today. Some members are not ready for a formal statement, and one option is to meet again once all 15 have gauged more closely each others’ positions. Another possibility is an initial reaction from the Council in the form of a press statement perhaps combined with a decision to keep discussing a presidential statement over the next few days. Key Recent Developments Aung San Suu Kyi’s Trial On 11 August a Myanmar court sentenced Aung San Suu Kyi to three years hard labour. This was commuted to 18 months house arrest following an order signed by Myanmar leader, General Tan Shwe and no doubt reflected the impact of intensive but quiet diplomacy urging the regime to exercise clemency in view of the adverse impact of a sentence of detention on the process of democratisation. Aung San Suu Kyi and two of her companions have been on trial for breaching her house arrest by giving shelter to John Yettaw, an American who swam to her lakeside home on 3 May. Yettaw was convicted for seven years. During her 86 day trial Aung San Suu Kyi, her companions and Yettaw were incarcerated in Insein prison. Final testimonies were given on 10 July and a verdict was anticipated by the end of the month. However, on 31 July the court postponed its verdict until 11 August saying they needed more time to review the case due to technical legal issues. It is significant that Aung San Suu Kyi’s home detention was previously due to expire on 27 May 2009 and if released she would have been free to play a role in the upcoming elections scheduled for 2010. The Myanmar government has renewed her house arrest annually since 2003 although, under Myanmar law, no one can be held for more than five years without being released or put on trial. Having flouted that law last year, a sixth renewal this year was likely to have resulted in strong international reactions. Security Council Report One Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, 885 Second Avenue at 48 th Street, 31 st Floor, New York NY 10017 Tel 212 759 9429 Fax 212 759 4038 1
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There were immediate international reactions following the sentencing. The Secretary-General issued a statement saying he was deeply disappointed and deplored the verdict. The EU was strongly critical of Aung San Suu Kyi’s continued detention. In a statement issued by Sweden, the current EU chair, the EU stated it was ready to impose targeted sanctions against those involved. French President Nicolas Sarkozy called the sentencing brutal and unjust.
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  • Fall '08
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