A United Nations panel says Burma's ongoing detention of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is a violation of international law.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued the opinion in a complaint filed by a U.S.-based human rights organization, Freedom Now. The independent UN tribunal said Aung San Suu Kyi's detention violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and it called for her immediate release.
Aung San Suu Kyi has been under some form of detention for most of the past 17 years. Military rulers have justified that detention by asserting that the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner is a threat to the country's political stability.
But the UN Working Group said Burma's military government has no legal justification for holding Aung San Suu Kyi, and that her detention is arbitrary.
There was no immediate response from the Burmese government, which was informed of the opinion in early May.
The Working Group is comprised of representatives from Algeria, Paraguay, Hungary, Spain and Iran. The panel has issued three previous rulings regarding Aung San Suu Kyi.
Burma's military government recently decided to extend Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest by another year.
Information for this report is provided by AFP.