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Burma Releases 21 Political Prisoners - 2003-05-04


Burma's military government says it has released 21 political prisoners in the past week, including a prominent academic and 12 members of Aung San Suu Kyi's pro-democracy party.

The announcement (Sunday) comes two days shy of the first anniversary of Ms. Suu Kyi's release from house arrest.

Among those released was Salai Tun Than, a 75-year-old retired professor imprisoned more than 17 months ago (November 29th, 2001). He was jailed for handing out pro-democracy flyers and staging a lone protest in front of Rangoon City Hall.

The Free Burma Coalition said last week that the professor had launched a hunger strike to protest poor jail conditions and human and religious rights violations. The military junta still holds around 12,00 political prisoners.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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