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Nine Nobel Peace winners call for Suu Kyi release

world Updated: May 20, 2009 09:12 IST

Nine Nobel Peace Prize winners are calling for fellow laureate and Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to be freed, calling her trial for violating her house arrest a "mockery," Costa Rica's government has said.

"The trial of Aung San Suu Kyi is a mockery. There's no legal system in Myanmar," the peace prize winners wrote in letters to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Surin Pitsuwan, the Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), according to a government statement.

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias joined Desmond Tutu, Jody Williams, Rigoberta Menchu, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Wangari Mathaai, Shirin Ebadi, Betty Williams, and Mairead Corrigan Maguire in the demand.

The pro-democracy leader's protection was necessary for prosperity and stability in Myanmar and the whole of Southeast Asia, they said.

Aung San Suu Kyi has spent 13 of the last 19 years in jail or under house arrest at the hands of Myanmar's generals, most of it at her lakeside house in Yangon.

The 63-year-old is now on trial at the notorious Insein prison outside Yangon, facing up to another five years' detention on charges of harbouring an American man who swam to her home.