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ILO Condemns Burmese Government For Treason Sentences - 2004-03-30


The International Labor Organization has condemned Burma's military government for allegedly sentencing to death three people who had contacts with the agency.

A statement from the governing body of the Geneva-based United Nations organization said the three men were prosecuted on what it called "unsound grounds." It also accused Burmese authorities of beating the suspects and depriving them of food, water and sleep.

The ILO governing board called on the Burmese military to free the three men, who it said were among nine people sentenced to death last November on treason charges.

Earlier this month, ILO representatives visited the men at Rangoon's Insein prison. ILO officials said their treason convictions cast serious doubt on the credibility of Rangoon's cooperation with the UN agency.

Burma's government has been widely condemned in the international community for its human rights record and its practice of forced labor. A 1998 investigation by the International Labor Organization found that forced labor was widespread and systematic.

The military government has since said it is making progress in eliminating forced labor.

Information for this report is provided by AP and ILO website.

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