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Opposition leader released to house arrest

By Associated Press
Published September 27, 2003

YANGON, Myanmar - Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained since May, was discharged from the hospital Friday after undergoing surgery and returned to her home. Her doctor said she will be held under house arrest.

The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who has been held in an unknown location since her arrest, had what was described as a major three-hour operation for a gynecological condition a week ago.

The government statement did not say whether Suu Kyi, 58, would be held under any special restrictions. Security near her residence was tightened Friday night, with groups of plainclothes security personnel checking vehicles and people on the avenue that runs past her house.

Myanmar has remained defiant in the face of intense international pressure to free Suu Kyi, who is being detained for the third time since 1989, when she was put under house arrest until 1995.

She was detained after she and her followers were caught in a violent clash with a pro-government mob in northern Myanmar, also known as Burma. Afterward, the junta cracked down on her party, halting a reconciliation process brokered in October 2000 by Razali Ismail, the U.N. special envoy to Myanmar.

The detention further isolated Myanmar's ruling junta, already shunned by many Western nations because of its poor human rights record.

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