VOA Burmese Blog

October 7, 2010

UN Chief Urges Release of Burma’s Political Prisoners

– VOA News

AP Photo: Aung San Suu Kyi with her supporters

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging Burma’s military government to release political prisoners ahead of next month’s national elections.

Mr. Ban said Wednesday he is continuing to appeal to Burma’s government to ensure the elections are transparent, inclusive and credible.

The secretary general says he has been delivering this message to Asian leaders and will repeat it during an upcoming UN-ASEAN summit meeting.

Burma is scheduled to hold its first elections in 20 years on November 7. The new legislature is likely to include critical voices for the first time in decades, but harsh restrictions on opposition parties have virtually ensured victory for a military-backed party.

The election is the nation’s first since opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy won in a landslide in 1990. The military did not recognize the results of that election.

Aung San Suu Kyi has spent 15 of the last 21 years in some form of detention.

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