Nobel Peace Prize winner and pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest in Myanmar for 14 years, and her sentence has been extended by a year and a half after a military court convicted her of violating the terms of her detention. The “violation” occurred when an uninvited American, John Yettaw, swam across the lake to Suu Kyi’s house for a visit. He got three years in prison and another three of hard labor.In reality, it may be that the government is trying to keep Kyi locked up for the 2010 election. As leader of the National League for Democracy, Kyi has said she and her party won’t participate in any elections until the junta releases over 2,000 political prisoners and reviews the 2008 charter. But, officials fear, if she’s out and about for the voting, she could have some sway over the results.
You might think this injustice would generate some serious controversy, but the regime has given themselves the appearance of being lenient by allowing Suu Kyi to serve the rest of her sentence at “home,” instead of in a prison. Kyi’s initial sentence was worse, but the court took a “recess” and decided to be nice. [LA Times]