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Burmese Government Ignores Calls For Aung San Suu Kyi's Release - 2003-06-03


Burma's military government is so far ignoring calls for it to release opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from detention in Rangoon.

President Bush and many other world leaders, as well as international human rights organizations, have called on Rangoon to free the opposition leader.

The New York-based group, Human Rights Watch, Tuesday said Burma should allow an independent investigation into the events that led up to the detention of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi and several of her political aides.

They were taken into custody last Friday after four people died in clashes between pro-democracy and pro-government protesters.

Burma's Deputy Foreign Minister Khin Maung Win told foreign diplomats that Aung San Suu Kyi is safe and in good health, but he refused to elaborate. There had been reports in Burmese opposition media that she was injured before she was taken into custody.

The special United Nations envoy to Burma, Malaysian diplomat Razali Ismail, says he still intends to visit the country beginning Friday. Mr. Razali told the Associated Press he hopes to see Aung San Suu Kyi as part of his planned talks with all sides in Burma's political dispute.

Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest last year after 19 months of captivity. She also was detained by the government for six years ending in 1995.

Mr. Razali brought her and the military government together for closed-door talks at the end of 2001. But those talks have been stalled for many months.

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