New Delhi - A US based human rights group, 'Freedom Now' on Friday urged Burma's military rulers to abide by its own law and immediately release detained opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, whose detention period will be over on Saturday.
Jared Genser, President of 'Freedom Now' said Aung San Suu Kyi must be released in accordance with the Burmese law as her detention period will be legally over by midnight of May 24.
"If the junta does not release her it will be violating its own law," said Genser, who is also the Legal Counsel for Aung San Suu Kyi at the behest of her family members.
Genser said under Article 10 (b) of Burma's State Protection Law 1975, a person in Burma who is deemed a "threat to the sovereignty and security of the State and the peace of the people" can be detained for up to a maximum of five years through a restrictive order, renewable one year at a time.
Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent more than 12 of the past 18 years in detention, was last arrested and detained in May 2003 and will complete five years of incarceration on the eve of May 24.
"The Burmese junta has no legal right to continue her detention. Continuing to detain her will be violating its own law," Genser said.
Other leaders of Aung San Suu Kyi's party – the National League for Democracy – said they have continuously protested against the detention of their party leader calling it illegal and urged for her release.
"But the government continues to detain her without respecting the law," Nyan Win, the NLD spokesperson, said.
"And if they extend her detention period this time, it will show that the government does not respect the rule of law," added Nyan Win.
Meanwhile the Human Rights Watch said the Burmese junta has manipulated the law and violated it by detaining Aung San Suu Kyi.
David Scott Mathieson, HRW's Burma Consultant, said even after manipulation of the law the detention period for Aung San Suu Kyi ends on Saturday.
"They [junta] have to release her," Mathieson said. "They have to release her not just because the law says so, but because it is the right thing to do."
However, sources in Burma's military establishment said, the generals are planning to renew the house arrest period for another year and that this is likely to be announced on Saturday, a day before the UN and Asean led donor conference is to be held in Rangoon.
"The timing couldn't be better," Genser said in a statement released on Friday.
If the Burmese junta abides by its own law, Aung San Suu Kyi will be able to attend the international aid conference on Sunday in Rangoon.
"And if General Than Shwe refuses to release her, it will be a slap on the face of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the ASEAN diplomats who will be at hand to hear the junta's request for $11 billion of international assistance," he added.