Suu Kyi is familiar with the prison where Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been detained since Dec. 12, 2017. Insein Prison, which has held many political prisoners over the years including Suu Kyi herself, remains a symbol of oppressive junta rule, and is notorious for inhumane conditions, rioting, and torture.

Given her own long fight for democracy in Myanmar, Suu Kyi’s inaction and silence on the Rohingya crisis have frustrated many and led to calls for her to be stripped of her Nobel peace prize, which she won under house arrest in 1991 (the Nobel committee said last week that it was not possible for someone to be stripped of the prize).

A week ago, a UN fact-finding mission released a report that accused Myanmar’s senior military leaders of having “genocidal intent” and said those leaders must be prosecuted for war crimes. The report also called out Suu Kyi for not using her position, “nor her moral authority, to stem or prevent the unfolding events in Rakhine State.”

But as Aaron Connelly, director of the Southeast Asia Project at the Lowy Institute think tank in Sydney, Australia, pointed out, Suu Kyi could have stepped in long ago in the case of the Reuters journalists as she had for student protestors a year ago.

In a rare public speech last month, Suu Kyi spoke in Singapore about how her relationship with the military was “not that bad” and that the generals in her cabinet were “rather sweet.” Without naming the Rohingya Muslim minority, she justified the military crackdown by citing the threat of terrorism in the country.

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