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Burma Frees 5 Jailed Pro-Democracy Activists


Burma has freed five pro-democracy activists whose arrests in September caused an international outcry.

The five were former students who were deeply involved in a bloody 1988 uprising against the military government.

One of the activists, Htay Kywe, told the Associated Press Wednesday that authorities questioned the detainees about some bombings in the country and whether they were receiving foreign financial assistance. He said he and his fellow activists were treated well, but did not say why they were freed.

Burma last week granted amnesty to nearly 29,00 prisoners, including as many as 40 political prisoners. Many in the international community are demanding freedom for all Burmese political prisoners, including Nobel Peace Prize winning activist Aung San Suu Kyi.

The United States is circulating a draft resolution in the UN Security Council calling Burma's human rights situation a threat to regional security.

Also Wednesday, the European Union announced more than 20 million dollars in humanitarian aid for Burma. The money will be used to help refugees on the Burmese-Thai border and more than one million people suffering from food shortages. The funds will also be used for health care, water, and sanitation.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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