U2 honours Aung San Suu Kyi as trial nears end

As the verdict of Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial edges nearer, Amnesty International will later today name the Burmese leader as its “Ambassador of Conscience”.

Aung San Suu Kyi is a long-standing Amnesty International prisoner of conscience. Her party, the National League of Democracy, won the last elections held in Burma back in 1990 with a landslide. The ruling military junta refused to accept the result and since then she has spent most of the last 20 years in detention.

Earlier this year American John Yettaw swam across a lake outside her home to warn her she was about to be killed by “terrorists”. And by doing so he broke the main rule on her house arrest – no unauthorised visitors.

At the time you could sense the ruling military junta rubbing their hands with glee. Here was a perfect excuse to jail the leader of the main opposition just in time for the next planned elections.

Since then hopes have fluctuated about whether she would escape a jail sentence. The latest views from Britain’s acclaimed Asian correspondents reporting on the case are pretty gloomy.

The BBC, The Telegraph, The Guardian and even The Express are all among the pessimists.

Naturally, you can still take action to call for her release by visiting this site.

Now on the plus side, Amnesty has just named her as our ‘Ambassador of Conscience’ following in the acclaimed footsteps of the likes of Nelson Mandela and Mary Robinson.

The Daily Mail was the first of the British dailies to pick up on the story on their website.

The award will be announced at 10pm tonight by U2 at their Croke Park gig in Dublin. Supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi will then come onto the stage wearing masks of her before a live TV audience of millions.

I’m not quite sure whether it’s enough to influence a trial thousands of miles away, but at this late stage anything is worth a shot.

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