When the Elders meet in South Africa on Monday to begin marking the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, one of their number will not be in attendance.
The international trouble-shooting team of world-renowned figures - including Nelson Mandela and Mary Robinson - will use its substantial collective experience to tackle global crises. Yet one figure - who has campaigned tirelessly for human rights - will be unable to add her expertise.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house arrest in Myanmar (formerly Burma), where she has been for 12 of the past 18 years.
Aung San Suu Kyi is one of over 1,850 people detained in Myanmar for their peaceful activities, a number that increased just a few months ago in the most recent crackdown on protests in the country.
Thousands of people are believed to have been arrested during the crackdown and currently Amnesty International estimates that around 700 remain in detention. This is in stark contrast to claims by the Myanmar authorities that only 80 people—against whom legal action will be taken—remain behind bars. Detainees have been poorly treated, and in some cases tortured.
At least 20 people are believed to have been sentenced to up to nine and a half years imprisonment in connection with the demonstrations, in proceedings that were closed and grossly flawed.
While the number of arrests has declined since 29 September, state security personnel have continued to search for and detain individuals suspected of involvement in the pro-democracy protests, primarily through night raids on homes. Such actions go against the government's assurances in early November to the UN Special Representative Ibrahim Gambari that no more arrests would be carried out.
Amnesty International is urgently calling on the government of Myanmar to stop making further arrests and to release all those detained or imprisoned merely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association, including both long-term and recent prisoners of conscience.