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U.S. Welcomes Burma  Political Prisoners Release - 2003-05-06


The United States has welcomed Burma's release of a group of political prisoners, including a prominent academic and 12 members of Aung San Suu Kyi's pro-democracy party.

A U.S. State Department spokesman (Richard Boucher) said Monday the United States hopes for the immediate and unconditional release of all remaining political prisoners and a substantive dialogue between Burma's military government and the pro-democracy opposition.

On Sunday, Burma announced it had freed 21 political prisoners. The release came just 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 military junta still holds around 12,00 political prisoners.

Information for this report is provided by AFP.

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