Ian McCartney, who is the Foreign Office's Burma specialist, issued a statement Thursday saying it was deplorable for the Burmese government to extend house arrest earlier this week for Tin Oo solely because of his commitment to democracy. T
Tin Oo is the vice chairman of Burma's main opposition party, the National League for Democracy. He has been under house arrest since February 2004.
McCartney called on Burma to release all of its political prisoners and to let political parties operate without fear of harassment.
He said that releasing Burma's political prisoners would show that the military is committed to restoring democracy.
Amnesty International estimates that at least one thousand political prisoners are being held in Burma's jails.
The head of the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi, has spent most of the past 17 years under detention after the military refused to recognize her party's election victory in 1990.
Information for this report is provided by Gnn.gov.uk