Canada Deeply Concerned Over New Charges Against Nobel, Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi

(No. 131 - May 14, 2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement denouncing the continued, unlawful detention of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi:

"Canada is seriously concerned with the new charges laid against Aung San Suu Kyi, and calls upon the Burmese regime to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all the people of Burma.

"Recent concerns regarding Aung San Suu Kyi's health will only be heightened by her transfer to harsh prison conditions. Canada strongly urges the Burmese authorities to provide appropriate medical care to all inmates in its prisons and to immediately release Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners, a number of whom suffer from serious health problems.

"Freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law are values fundamental to Canada's foreign policy. Canada believes that the elections planned for 2010 will only be credible if the Burmese regime unconditionally frees all political prisoners and allows opposition groups to participate freely in the electoral process.

"Canada continues to urge the Burmese authorities to engage in genuine dialogue with the democratic opposition and ethnic minorities. We have shown our solidarity with the people of Burma by imposing the toughest sanctions in the world on the regime and by conferring honorary Canadian citizenship on Aung San Suu Kyi."

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874