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US Unimpressed With Burma's Political Prisoners Release - 2004-01-17


The United States appeared unimpressed by Burma's announcement that it has released 26 members of the opposition National League for Democracy.

The State Department said the number of detainees was small considering the hundreds, if not thousands of opposition members held in Burmese jails.

Burma's Information Ministry said Friday that all 26 detainees are in good health and are now back home with their families.

But the statement gave no names or other information. And it is not clear when the prisoners had been arrested.

Dozens of members of the National League for Democracy and the party's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, were arrested after clashes in late May between party members and government supporters.

Burmese authorities have slowly released some of the opposition activists from jails. Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house arrest.

The United Nations human-rights envoy to Burma said last year the government's proposed "road map" to democracy can not move forward while political prisoners are in custody. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro called on Rangoon to release some 13,00 political prisoners.

Information for the report is provided by AFP and Reuters.

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