Global Leaders Support New Website For Suu Kyi Release
Thursday, 28 May 2009

A high profile website calling for the release of Myanmar's democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and all of Myanmar's political prisoners, launched Wednesday with the backing of global leaders and celebrities along with a coalition of NGOs and trade unions.

The website will become the global hub of the international campaign to release Suu Kyi.

The launch coincides with the day that, according to the Myanmar military regime, Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest expires. The UN has already ruled that her detention is illegal. More than 2, 100 political prisoners are being held in Myanmar's jails. allows anyone to upload video, text, image or twitter messages of support to Myanmar's imprisoned democracy leader. The site aims to demonstrate the scale of outrage over her continued detention by encouraging high profile individuals and the public around the world to write a 64-word message, that will be delivered on Suu Kyi's 64th birthday on June 19th.

Organisations supporting the website include; Burma Campaign UK, Amensty International, the Trades Union Congress, Not on our Watch, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Open Society Institute and Avaaz. The site will launch with messages from high profile supporters including George Clooney, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Vaclav Havel, David Beckham, Daniel Craig, and the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

Gordon Brown's '64' reads, "I add my voice to the growing chorus of those demanding our release. For too long the world has failed to act in the face of this intolerable injustice. That is now changing. The clamour for you release is growing across Europe, Asia, and the entire world. We must do all we can to make this Birthday the last you spend without you freedom".

Another '64', titled Not on our Watch, reads: "Nineteen years ago, the Burmes people chose Aung San Suu Kyi as their next leader. For most of those 19 years she has been kept under house arrest by the military junta that runs the country. We must not stand by as she is silenced again. Now is the time for the international community to speak with one voice: Free Aung San Suu Kyi".

The message is signed by George Clooney, Secretary Madeleine Albright, Wes Anderson, Drew Barrymore, David Beckman, Bono, Matthew Broderick, Sandra Bullock, James Carville, Michael Chabon, Daniel Craig, John Cusack, matt Damon, Robert De Niro, Dave Eggers, Jake Gyllenhaaly, Vaclav Havel, helen Hunt, Anjelica Huston, Scarlett Johansson, Nicole Kidman, Ashton Kutcher, Norman lear, Madonna, Mary Matalin, Sen. John & Cindy McCain, Rose McGowan, Orhan Pamuk, Sarah Jessica parker, paulo Sergio Pinheiro, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Robert Rodriguez, Meg Ryan, Liev Schreiber, George Soros, Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Naomi Watts, Prof. Elie Wiesel, Owen Wilson.

Suu Kyi, Myanmar's pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace laureate, has symbolised the struggle of her people to be free during her 13-year detention by the ruling military junta for campaigning for human rights and democracy.

On May 18th she was put on trial, charged with breaching the terms of her house arrest after an American man, John Yettaw, swam to her house and refused to leave. Observers say the junta have used the the visit as an opportunity to extend her detention, which was expected to expire this month. Her trial is ongoing and she could face a further five years in detention.

In 1990 she led her party to win 82% of seats in national elections in the Southeast Asian nation, despite being placed under house arrest. She has been in and out of detention ever since. She was held under house arrest from 1989-1995, and again from 2000-2002. She was again arrested in May 2003 after the Depaying massacre, during which up to 100 of her supporters were beaten to death by the regime's militia.

Suu Kyi remains under house arrest in Yangoon, her phone line has been cut, her post is intercepted and National League for Democracy volunteers providing security at her compound were removed in December 2004.

She has won numerous international awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize, the Sakharov Prize from the European parliament and the United States presidential Medal of Freedom. She has called on people around the world to join the struggle for freedom in her country, saying "Please use your liberty to promote ours."


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