New York, NY (BBN)– United nations chief is “gravely concerned” about the news that detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for several years, has been moved to Burmese Insein Prison to face criminal charges.

“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon believes that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is an essential partner for dialogue in Myanmar’s national reconciliation and calls on the Government not to take any further action that could undermine this important process,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.

Ms. Suu Kyi, who leads the National League for Democracy (NLD), and all those who have a contribution to make to the future of their country “must be free to be able to do so to ensure that the political process is credible,” the statement added.

According to information received by the independent UN expert on the situation of human rights in Burma, officially known as Myanmar, Ms. Suu Kyi and two aides were escorted this morning by security forces to Insein Prison, where they were charged by a special court.

They are currently detained in the Insein compound and their trial has been scheduled for 18 May.

“I call on the Government of Myanmar to release Aung San Suu Kyi and her aides unconditionally,” stated Special Rapporteur Tomás Ojea Quintana, who reports to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council.

The new charges, according to a news release issued in Geneva, are said to be in connection with the recent intrusion of an American citizen into the home of Ms. Suu Kyi.

“Since her house is well guarded by security forces, the responsibility for preventing such intrusions, and alerting the authorities, lies with the security forces and not with Aung San Suu Kyi and her aides,” Mr. Ojea Quintana said.

BBN/SI/SS/AD-15May09-2:25 am (BST)