Britain's foreign office has criticized Burma in its annual report on human rights, saying there has been no significant improvement in the past year.
The report issued Thursday said despite some minor steps forward, Burma continues to repress political and ethnic groups who challenge the rule of the military regime.
The foreign office said the Burmese government controls every aspect of society, stifling freedom of expression, information, assembly and movement.
The reported noted the continued house arrest of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the suspected detention of former prime minister Khin Nyunt, who was ousted in October.
The report said of Burma's surprise release of tens of thousands of prisoners this year that most were petty offenders rather than political prisoners.