Cablegate: Aung San Suu Kyi Avoids Jail, Calls Regime's

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (SBU) Summary: Aung San Suu Kyi was found guilty of
wrongful restraint February 21 in a civil suit brought by
her cousin. The NLD Chairman says the court's judgment was
"definitely politically motivated," and her lawyer outlined
several procedural irregularities. Daw Suu reportedly
objected to the judgment and the process and was prepared to
go to jail for a week rather than admit guilt and pay a
nominal fine. As two thousand people crowded around the
courthouse, the government backed off, issuing a "suspension
of judgment" decree, handing Aung San Suu Kyi another
principled victory, for the time being at least. End

2. (SBU) The Incident

On May 8, 2002, two days after Aung San Suu Kyi was released
from house arrest, her maternal cousin, Soe Aung, appeared
on her housing compound and accosted her in front of the NLD
leadership. He punched her and was banished from the
compound. She sued him for "outraging the modesty of a
woman" and he counter-sued her for wrongful restraint. The
cousin had once lived in a small building on the family
compound, and apparently wanted to move back in.

3. (SBU) "Politically Motivated"

At a February 21 press conference at NLD HQ, Aung San Suu
Kyi's lawyer and the assembled party leadership detailed the
events of the day. Both ASSK and her cousin were found
guilty and received small fines or short jail terms. ASSK
objected to the process and judgment, refusing to pay the
small fine and claiming she would go to jail for the seven
days if necessary. Her lawyer detailed some legal
irregularities. When a U.S. reporter asked if the NLD
leadership thought the case was politically motivated, the
NLD Chairman answered, "It definitely was politically

4. (SBU) How's That?

Soe Aung is said to have been put up to this by the regime.
Local political analysts tell us a number of ASSK's family
members have been approached by the SPDC and encouraged to
bring lawsuits against her. Entangling her in tawdry civil
litigation with family members would diminish her status of
international icon. We know of at least one other suit
filed against her by a family member. One also wonders how
Soe Aung could have gotten access to her compound, isolated
as it is by tight police checkpoints.

5. (SBU) So What?

What was perhaps a regime-supported smear effort has
backfired, as ASSK once again stood by her principles and
called the government's bluff. Given the tension in the
city arising from the ongoing banking crisis, the
authorities perhaps sensed that this event could have
sparked trouble. The regime has backed down for now, but we
note the judgment was only suspended, not overturned.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Save The Children: Ukraine: 21 Children Killed Or Injured In Horrific Week Of Violence

At least 21 children have been killed or injured in just a week in an uptick of violence across Ukraine, Save the Children said today... More>>

UN: Visionary ‘Blue Transformation’ Strategy To Enhance Underwater Food Systems

Record levels of fisheries and aquaculture production are making a critical contribution to global food security, the UN Ocean Conference under way in Lisbon, Portugal, heard on Wednesday...
Abu Akleh Shooting: Fatal Shot Came From Israeli Forces, Says OHCHR
Israeli forces were behind the fatal shooting of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank - not indiscriminate Palestinian firing - the UN human rights office, OHCHR, alleged on Friday... More>>

UN Ocean Conference: Opens With Call For Urgent Action To Tackle Ocean Emergency
With climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution exacting a devastating toll on the world’s ocean — critical to food security, economic growth and the environment... More>>

World Vision: Deeply Concerned For Thousands Affected By Afghanistan Quake
World Vision is deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan in the wake of a powerful earthquake in the early hours of this morning... More>>

Malaysia: UN Experts Welcome Announcement To Abolish Mandatory Death Penalty

UN human rights experts* today commended an announcement made by the Malaysian government that it will abolish the country’s mandatory death penalty and encouraged Parliament to take concrete steps to pass the agreement into law... More>>