New York, NY (BBN)– The United Nations human rights chief on Wednesday called for the immediate and unconditional release of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

“I deplore the ongoing persecution of a democratically elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, for almost a quarter of a century,” Navi Pillay said in a statement on the day.

“I am seriously disturbed by her arbitrary detention and the basis of charges against her, an event that was clearly beyond her control, with the court failing to properly review the legitimacy of her house arrest in the first instance,” the UN human rights chief added.

Ms. Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has spent over 12 years under house arrest in Yangon.

On Tuesday, a Burma, officially known as Myanmar, court ruled that she had violated state security laws after an uninvited United States citizen gained access to her home, and sentenced her to a further 18 months of house arrest, a UN press statement said.

The high commissioner joined the call made by UN chief on Tuesday for the immediate and unconditional release of Ms. Suu Kyi, together with the release of all political prisoners in the South-east Asian nation.

These include those who are facing particularly harsh sentences for simply exercising their freedom of expression, her statement added, such as the two NLD candidates elected as members of Parliament in 1990, but who were subsequently arrested and sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment for expressing concerns to the secretary-general through the form of a letter.

BBN/SS/AD-13August09-3:18 am (BST)