European Parliament buildings in Brussels – campaign poster to free Aung San Suu KYI – Sakharov Prize 1990 – Aung San Suu Kyi is the Nobel Prize-winning peace activist who is being detained by the military dictatorship of Myanmar. She is the daughter of Burmese General Aung San, a national hero who helped establish national independence (1948). General Aung San was assassinated in July of 1947, and two year-old Suu Kyi left Burma to live and study in India and the United Kingdom. In 1988 she returned to Burma and led the National League for Democracy (NLD) in opposition to the ruling military regime.
She was placed under house arrest in 1989, but the NLD still convincingly won popular elections in 1990. The military junta refused to give up power and held Aung San under house arrest until 1995. While detained she won the Nobel Prize for peace (1991). She was held again from September 2000 until May 2002, during which time the NLD was having secret negotiations with the junta in an effort to break the political deadlock. In May 2003 she was again detained and taken into “protective custody” as confrontations between the NLD and government supporters increased. Despite diplomatic pressure and international pleas for her release, she continues to be held in Myanmar; in May of 2006 the ruling military junta announced an extension of her house arrest for an indefinite period.