18 Sep 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi sentence appealed

9:06 pm on 18 September 2009

Lawyers for Burma's democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi are appealing against a sentence that extended her house arrest by 18 months.

The appeal comes a month after she was found guilty of violating the terms of her house arrest when an American man stayed at her home.

Ms Suu Kyi, who has spent 14 of the last 20 years in detention, is not being allowed to appear in court in person. The latest sentence has drawn international condemnation, and means she cannot take part in elections next year.

Separately, Human Rights Watch has reported that the number of political prisoners in Burma has doubled in two years, to 2200.

The military regime has been marking 21 years in its current form by claiming the release of 7000 prisoners. Prison releases in the past have been used to free non-political prisoners and are often accompanied or followed by increased arrests of political and other prisoners.