Ban Ki-moon calls on Myanmar to release all political prisoners

8 January 2007

Welcoming reports that Myanmar recently released dozens of political prisoners, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for the freeing of all others, including democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 10 of the past 16 years.

“The Secretary-General has taken note of the decision by the Government of Myanmar on 3 January 2007 to grant amnesty to 2,831 prisoners. He welcomes reports that this includes the release of up to 40 political prisoners,” Mr. Ban said in a statement delivered by his spokesperson in New York.

“The Secretary-General urges the Myanmar authorities to go beyond this first step by releasing all other political prisoners in the country, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and by making further concrete progress on all of the issues raised in the context of his good offices.”

Today’s statement is the latest UN effort to win the release of Ms. Suu Kyi and follows a four-day visit to the South East Asian nation in November by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari. Mr. Gambari also called for the release of political prisoners, as well as for Myanmar to open up its political process and take “concrete steps” to address other areas of global concern, including hostilities against minorities.

 

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