NAYPYITAW: Myanmar’s military government may move ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi from prison to house arrest in the capital, Naypyitaw, two media outlets reported today.
The 78-year-old Nobel laureate has been in detention since her arrest in early 2021 when the military overthrew her elected government in a coup and unleashed a bloody crackdown on opponents that has seen thousands jailed or killed.
The Associated Press cited an unidentified security official as saying the move was an act of clemency to prisoners as part of a religious ceremony due next week.
The BBC’s Burmese-language service cited a “source close to the prison” as saying she may have already been moved to a house usually used by government officials.
Reuters could not independently verify the reports or Suu Kyi’s whereabouts.
A spokesman for Myanmar’s ruling military was not immediately available for comment. Suu Kyi’s lawyers and a spokesman for the shadow National Unity Government (NUG), which opposes military rule, could not confirm the reports.
“News of improvements in conditions is welcome, but does not change her status as a prisoner of conscience,” said NUG spokesman Kyaw Zaw.
Suu Kyi is appealing sentences adding up to 33 years in detention after being convicted of offences ranging from incitement and election fraud to corruption, charges she denies.
Many Western governments have condemned the junta’s treatment of Suu Kyi and others, calling for their release.
This month, Thai foreign minister Don Pramudwinai said he had recently met Suu Kyi, the first foreign official to be granted access to her since she was detained more than two years ago.
The meeting came as Southeast Asia’s regional grouping Asean struggled to agree on an approach on how to end the crisis in fellow member Myanmar.
The daughter of Myanmar’s independence hero was first put under house arrest in 1989 after huge protests against decades of military rule. In 1991, she won the Nobel Peace Prize for campaigning for democracy but was only fully released from house arrest in 2010.
She swept a 2015 election, held as part of tentative military reforms that were brought to a halt by the 2021 coup.