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Friday, 7 December, 2001, 12:07 GMT
'Free Aung San Suu Kyi'
Aung San Suu Kyi locked in her car at a military roadblock September 2000
Aung San Suu Kyi was prevented from leaving Rangoon last year
Amnesty International has called on Burma's military rulers to release Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, as other former laureates gathered to commemorate 100 years of the award.

Aung San Suu Kyi pictured in February 1999
Aung San Suu Kyi: Secret talks with military
It is 10 years on Saturday since Aung San Suu Kyi won the award, but she will not be joining other living laureates gathering in Oslo.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy convincingly won the elections held in May 1990, but the military junta failed to hand over power.

Since last October, the democracy leader has been holding secret United Nations-brokered talks with junta leaders, which have led to the release of nearly 200 political prisoners.

Amnesty is renewing its appeal for Aung San Suu Kyi to be allowed her freedom.

"On this occasion we renew our calls for her release, and for the release of hundreds of other prisoners of conscience," the London-based group said in a statement received in Bangkok.

Husband's death

Aung San Suu Kyi has not appeared in public since September 2000, when she was put under de facto house arrest for attempting to travel outside the capital Rangoon for a political meeting.

Her telephone has been disconnected, but she reportedly has access to a shortwave radio.

We are absolutely confident that democracy will come to Burma

Aung San Suu Kyi, speaking last year
She has been detained at her lakeside home for much of the last 13 years, including the year she was awarded the Nobel Peace prize.

Her son Alexander Aris collected it on her behalf.

Aung San Suu Kyi, 56, was unable to travel to the UK when her academic husband Michael Aris died of cancer in 1999, fearing the junta would not allow her back into Burma.

Aung San Suu Kyi with her late husband Michael Aris
Aung San Suu Kyi did not see her husband for three years before his death
In a videotaped statement released last year, Aung San Suu Kyi said she remained optimistic.

"We are absolutely confident that democracy will come to Burma," she said. "It is important that we achieve our goal quickly because people suffer too much."

The Norwegian Nobel Institute has been holding a series of celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the peace prize, in the run-up to Monday's presentation of this year's award to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Other former prize winners due to attend include South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, and the Dalai Lama.

The BBC's Louisa Lim
"The Burmese government has shown itself impervious to international criticism in the past"
See also:

05 Dec 01 | Asia-Pacific
Burma's slow road to reform
06 Sep 01 | Asia-Pacific
Burma opposition denies 'power share'
04 Sep 01 | Asia-Pacific
Burma and Thailand seek closer ties
27 Aug 01 | Asia-Pacific
Burmese opposition backs talks
20 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Burmese government regrets no show
19 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Burma talks stalled
19 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Opposition prisoners freed in Burma
29 Mar 99 | Asia-Pacific
Suu Kyi 'refuses funeral visa'
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