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Burmese Junta Slams Amnesty For Its Criticism Of Progress On Democracy - 2003-12-23


Burma's military government has rejected a report by the human rights group, Amnesty International, which said the country's human rights situation has worsened since a May 30th confrontation between government supporters and opposition demonstrators.

A government statement from Rangoon today (Tuesday) said it regrets the negative report. It said the criticism comes at a time when nations around the world are hailing Burma's moves toward national reconciliation.

Amnesty representatives who recently completed a visit to Burma said Monday there has been an upsurge in human rights violations there. They said Burma's military government has increasingly put people in detention for peacefully expressing dissenting views. And they called for the unconditional and immediate release of all political prisoners in Burma.

Today's (Tuesday's) rebuttal from Rangoon did not mention the detentions, nor did it respond to the Amnesty call for releasing the prisoners.

Human rights groups estimate there are more than 1300 political prisoners in Burmese jails.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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