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Burmese Activists Petition for Release of Political Prisoners


Opposition figures in Burma are circulating a petition calling for the release of jailed activists including Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

The petition drive was launched Monday by former members of the student group that led pro-democracy demonstrations in 1988. It will last two weeks.

Several prominent figures have already signed the petition, including well-known writer Ludu Daw Amar and popular comedian Zargana.

Burmese authorities arrested at least five democracy activists last week before a ceremony in Rangoon marking the 18th anniversary of the founding of the National League for Democracy.

The arrests drew criticism from the international community.

The NLD won national elections by a landslide in 1990, but Burma's military did not allow it to assume power.

Party leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been in detention for 10 of the 16 years since then.

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