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Myanmar Should Release Other Political Prisoners

7 May 2002

The release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest should be followed by the release of all other political prisoners in Myanmar, Foreign Minister Phil Goff said today.

The New Zealand Government welcomed the release of Suu Kyi, and it expected the release to be unconditional and irreversible, Mr Goff said. Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Laureate and leader of the National League of Democracy, had been under house arrest since September 2000.

“We call on the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) to work with Suu Kyi and Myanmar’s ethnic groups to implement long overdue economic and political reforms.

“We also call on the SPDC to release all other political prisoners. The UN estimates that 1,500 political prisoners remain in custody,” Mr Goff said.

“Suu Kyi has been a champion of democracy in a country that is in dire need of reform. If her release proves to be unconditional, and provided positive change continues in Myanmar, New Zealand will look at joining international efforts to assist the people of Myanmar and support economic and political progress,” Mr Goff said.

Ends

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