suu_kyiMs Suu Kyi’s trial has drawn international condemnation

US President Barack Obama has called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

In a written statement, Mr Obama said he strongly condemned Ms Suu Kyi’s house arrest, which has lasted for most of the last 19 years. She is being tried for violating the terms of her detention in a case which has drawn widespread condemnation.

The Nobel laureate faces up to five years in jail, if convicted. “Aung San Suu Kyi’s continued detention, isolation, and show trial based on spurious charges cast serious doubt on the Burmese regime’s willingness to be a responsible member of the international community,” Mr Obama said in a statement.

“It is time for the Burmese government to drop all charges against Aung San Suu Kyi and unconditionally release her and her fellow political prisoners,” he added. Ms Suu Kyi, 63, had been due for release on Wednesday after her latest six-year detention, but was re-arrested this month after a visit to her house by a US man who had not been invited.

She took the stand for the first time on Tuesday to tell the court that she was not immediately aware of the late-night visit but was informed later by her assistant.  Ms Suu Kyi is widely expected to be convicted at the trial.