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Burma Frees Five Senior Opposition Officials - 2003-11-24


Burma's military government has released five senior officials of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy after almost six months of detention.

The opposition leader herself remains under house arrest in Rangoon.

Party officials say 81 year old Nyunt Wei, 82 year old U Than Tun, 80 year old U Soe Myint and 77 year old U Hla Pe were freed on Sunday. Another official, 83 year old U Lun Tin, was released today (Monday).

They had been in detention since May 30th, following bloody clashes between opposition members and a government-backed mob in northern Burma.

All of the five are on the nine-member National League for Democracy central committee. The government has given no indication when the others, including Aung San Suu Kyi, will be set free.

The United Nations human-rights envoy to Burma recently said the government's proposed "road map" to democracy can not move forward while political prisoners are in custody. Brazilian diplomat Paulo Sergio Pinheiro made the comment after his sixth fact-finding trip to Burma, earlier this month.

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

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