Myanmar's pro democracy leader and Nobel peace prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is due for release from jail after serving 15 of the past 21 years in jail for her role in promoting democracy in her military-ruled country.
Suu Kyi's extended prison term will expire Saturday and rumors were circulating among the democracy icon's supporters indicating the impending release.
While scores of people who gathered near her home were disappointed that she was not given an early release Friday night, colleagues said an order to set her free had already been signed by Myanmar's ruling generals
. Some 200 people has come earlier when rumors of her impending release were at their height.
Adding to the expectant atmosphere was a sharply stepped-up security presence in Yangon: truckloads of riot police, cruising and parked — a familiar sight to city residents during times of political tension.
Myanmar has just conducted its first national election in 20 years last November 7. Suu Kyi's democratic party did not participate in the elections contending that the new election laws were tilted in favor of the military-ruled party.
Suu Kyi is the head of the National League for democracy(NLD), a political party that swept her to power in 1990 elections, winning over the administration's party by landslide, but the military refused to hand over power and instead put her in jail and clamped down on opponents of the regime.
Suffering in jail for 15 of the past 21 for her campaign to democratize her poverty-stricken country, Suu Kyi has become a symbol of struggle to rid the impoverished nation of decade of military rule.
Last week's election was seen by few Asian countries as a step in the right direction to democratise but pro democracy parties claimed the election has been rigged to favor the candidates supported by the ruling junta to ensure continued military rule.
The report says, about 300 people gathered excitedly at NLD headquarters earlier in the day, some wearing T-shirts reading, "We stand with you."
"There is no law to hold (Suu Kyi) for another day. Her detention period expires on Saturday and she will be released," her lawyer, Nyan Win, told reporters.
Meanwhile a vigil is being held by Suu Kyi's supporters hoping to see Myanmar's democracy icon freed after spending 15 of the past 21 years in jail.