Activists challenge Burmese junta: Release Suu Kyi

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Jakarta: A group of activists representing human rights organisations from East and South-East Asia have renewed calls for the immediate release of Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. They also called on the Government of Indonesia to take a stronger stand on democracy and human rights in Burma.

Burma’s democracy leader has been illegally detained for over 11 years and her detention order expires on 27 May 2007. The activists have challenged the junta to uphold their recent statement on Army Day that human rights abuses “do not exist in Burma” and release the Nobel Peace Laureate.

“The regime has previously promised to release her. Now they say there are no human rights violations in Burma. If that’s the case, they should release Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners immediately.” said Debbie Stothard, Coordinator of Altsean-Burma (the Alternative Asean Network on Burma).

There are more than 1,100 prisoners of conscience living in deplorable conditions in Burma’s notorious jails.

The activists from Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand who were at a Regional Team Meeting also condemned the regime’s worst offensive in 10 years against the ethnic Karen. Over the past 16 months, the war has displaced 27,000 civilian Karen and weapons fire has spilled over into Thailand.

They urged Indonesia, their respective governments and the international community to stop the incarceration of Aung San Suu Kyi, and the raging offensive against unarmed civilians. “The international community must be clear that they will not tolerate these serious human rights abuses any longer. Indonesia should use its position on the UN Security Council to push for change in Burma. We need this now. The people of Burma have been suffering too long,” asserted Hseng Noung from the Women’s League of Burma.

READ MORE:  UN experts concerned by detention, torture of ethnic Rakhine men, boys

The activists also attended a public forum on Burma, on Indonesia’s Foreign Policy, and Democracy in Burma. The Forum, organised by the Civil Society Coalition on Burma (KMSUB) featured speakers from Burma as well as Indonesia Parliamentarian Andreas Pareira.

Source: Altsean Burma and KMSUB

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