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Nobel Winners Urge Freedom for Aung San Suu Kyi - 2004-04-15


A group of Nobel literature laureates is urging Burma to release detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as well as other imprisoned Burmese writers.

The 15 prize winners - led by former Czech President Vaclav Havel (and including Günter Grass, Naguib Mahfouz, Toni Morrison, V.S. Naipaul, Kenzaburo Oe and José Saramago) - signed a letter to the head of Burma's military government that was delivered Tuesday to Burmese embassies around the world.

The writers say they are profoundly disturbed by the open, unchecked, and accelerating suppression of the peaceful movement for democracy in Burma and by the denial of freedom of expression and physical freedom to their fellow writers.

The letter was coordinated by the international writers organization, PEN, and was announced at the opening of the One World International Human Rights Film Festival in Prague late Wednesday.

Earlier this week Burma's military government released the head of the opposition National League for Democracy and a senior aide, after they spent nearly a year in detention.

However Aung San Suu Kyi and dozens of other opposition figures remain under house arrest.

Information for this report is provided by AP.

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