Dissident leaders inside and outside Burma tell ABC News Aung Sang Suu Kyi's release from house arrest is imminent. Tonight, police were seen delivering papers to her home, which some speculated were her permission for release.
More than 200 of her supporters gathered outside her home, in anticipation of her freedom. Later, they were told to go home, with the release now expected tomorrow at the earliest. The Myanmar government had earlier indicated her house arrest would end November 13.
Opposition members were overjoyed but skeptical of the government's motives. Zoya Phan of the Burma Campaign U.K. noted that last time she was released in 2002; she was arrested again the following year.
"This is not a real concession by the government," said Ms. Phan, an opposition leader who fled Burma after several attempts on her life. "This is purely for publicity purposes."
Suu Kyi Spent More Than 15 Years Confined
Suu Kyi's release would end one of the longest detentions of a high-profile, pro-democracy figure since Nelson Mandela in South Africa.
Suu Kyi, daughter of the founder of modern Burma, Aung San, was first jailed after rallying thousands of supporters in 1989, for an election which her National League for Democracy later won. However, the ruling junta refused to recognize the election results. Over the years, she has occasionally been offered freedom in exchange for banishment exile; but she refused, even when her husband was dying in England.
Fraud Claims Mar Election in Myanmar
The release follows the latest election in Myanmar, which was widely seen as fraudulent and which Suu Kyi's NLD boycotted due to a range of violations.
A report on the election by the dissident group Altsean Burma found, "widespread evidence of electoral fraud, irregularities, threats, harassment, and lack of independent monitoring characterized Election Day and the days leading up to it."
One remaining question is whether the government will allow Suu Kyi to engage in politics. Many dissidents doubt she would accept release without those assurances.