Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Prize winner and opposition leader in Myanmar, formerly Burma, was released Monday from house arrest after nearly six years of confinement by the nation’s military junta.
The release of Aung San Suu Kyi, who won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her campaign to bring democracy to her homeland, came the day before her detention order expired.
Foreign diplomats in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, said they had been assured by junta officials that the release of the 50-year-old opposition leader was unconditional, and that she was free to come and go as she pleased.
In the past, the junta offered to release Aung San Suu Kyi, the Oxford-educated daughter of the hero of the nation’s independence struggle, but only if she would agree to leave the country and not return for several years.
The military government announced her release Monday in a statement: “The order to restrict Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to her compound has been revoked as of today.”
Her release could well mean an easing of Myanmar’s status with foreign governments and international lending organizations, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The United States and other foreign governments demanded Aung San Suu Kyi’s freedom as a condition for the lifting of diplomatic and trade sanctions.