A senior member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s party said a release order has been signed for the Myanmar opposition leader and that she may be freed from house arrest “today or tomorrow.”
Suu Kyi, who has been detained for 15 of the past 21 years, is scheduled to be released on Nov. 13, according to the terms of her most recent house arrest. Myanmar’s junta hasn’t said publicly whether it will free the 65-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate a week after the party it backed claimed a landslide election victory.
“We’ve been told her release order has been signed and she can be released today or tomorrow, but government officials won’t confirm this,” Win Tin, a senior member of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, said by phone from Yangon.
Suu Kyi’s release and the conditions surrounding it may trigger a review of U.S. and European sanctions against the regime for human rights abuses, including the jailing of 2,100 political prisoners.
If freed, Win Tin said Suu Kyi plans to tour the country and may reconsider her views on sanctions on Myanmar, after last week’s vote paved the way for the formation of the nation’s first multi-party parliament since 1962.
“She essentially controls U.S. policy, indirectly,” said David Steinberg, director of Asian studies at Georgetown University. “We think what she thinks.”