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50 People Who Matter 2011 | 42. Aung San Suu Kyi

Freed radical.

The pro-democracy leader and opposition politician spent more than 15 years under house arrest for opposing Burma's military junta. She has achieved global recognition for her human rights activism, having been awarded the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, as well as other honours by the European Parliament and the governments of India, Venezuela and Canada. Aung San Suu Kyi was released from detention last November, after her National League for Democracy had boycotted that month's corrupt general election in Burma. Since then, over 2,000 political prisoners have remained incarcerated and the dictatorship continues to detain people without trial. Following her release, Aung San Suu Kyi has met and negotiated with her country's leaders, but there is not yet change apparent in Burma.

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This article first appeared in the 26 September 2011 issue of the New Statesman, The fifty people who matter