UN human rights head condemns extension of Suu Kyi's detention

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights added her voice Wednesday to the growing worldwide condemnation of the extended house arrest of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

"These continued severe restrictions on the freedom of expression and movement against Aung San Suu Kyi contravene basic human rights. They come at a time when the people of Myanmar are suffering hard and their suffering should not by compounded by more restrictive measures," said Louise Arbour.

Arbour's call follows the military regime's decision to extend the detention of Suu Kyi for another six months, the dpa reported.

In a statement issued in Geneva, the High Commissioner also expressed concern about the arrest on Tuesday of at least 15 members of the opposition party, the National League for Democracy, who were marching towards Aung San Suu Kyi's house.

Arbour called on the government of Myanmar to unconditionally release Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been confined in her home for 12 of the last 18 years. Her latest house arrest began in 2003.

"Her release will be critical in facilitating national reconciliation and democratic transition, to which the Myanmar leadership has committed itself," added Arbour.

In New York, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the six month extension "regretful."

Officials from the EU and US have also expressed their frustration at the move.

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