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UN asks Myanmar to release Suu Kyi
June 18, 2005 12:56 IST
The United Nations has asked the military government of Myanmar to release 1,300 political prisoners including opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
"The immediate release of the prisoners would send a powerful signal to the people of Myanmar and the international community that the government is committed to a genuine process of reconciliation and to establishing a participatory democracy in Myanmar," Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, Myanmar Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights, said.
Myanmar government must demonstrate its commitment to reform by guaranteeing the full and effective participation of all political actors, including the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, as well as political parties and ethnic leaders, in a 'meaningful and substantive' dialogue, he said on Friday.
Since the presentation of his last report to the UN General Assembly, the Special Rapporteur said he has continued to receive substantiated reports of serious human rights violations against ethnic minorities, resulting in the displacement of large numbers of people.
"Steps can and should be taken immediately to end such serious violations of human rights and to hold those responsible to account," he said.
Suu Kyi, who recently celebrated her 60th birthday, has been under house arrest for two years now. This is the third time she has been arrested since the popular democratic uprising in Burma in 1988.