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Local pro-democracy groups call for release of political prisoners

(Mizzima) - Eleven local pro-democracy organisations released a joint statement in Burma today calling for the immediate and unconditional release of more than 2,200 political prisoners.

Continued detention of activists was considered a crime, the statement said.

“The unconditional release of political prisoners would lead to national reconciliation and the removal of sanctions against Burma”.

On the eve of Independence Day commemorating 63 years of independence from British rule, “only the junta and their business cronies could enjoy independence”, the statement read.

A spokesperson for the groups, Zarni, said he wanted to see the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to meet with prisoners’ families and to more effectively provide assistance.

ICRC delegates have not visited detainees in Burma since 2006 when it scaled down it activities due to government restrictions.

According to the ICRC website today, authorities in Burma “have not permitted the organization to continue this activity according to its standard procedures applied worldwide”.

The statement also urged the exile Burmese community to use new ways to urge the international community to press from freedom of political prisoners and to donate to a NLD charitable organisation established to support political prisoners.

According to the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) there are 2,189 political prisoners in Burma- 255 are monks, 282 are students and 399 are NLD members.

The statement was issued by the All Burma Monks Alliance, 88 Generation Students, All Burma Federation of Student Unions, the Arakanese Student Organisation, Rakkha Ray of Light, Rangoon Division Pro-democracy Student Organisation, 2007 Generation Student Union, Student Union (High Schools), Midland Student Organisation, All Burma Young People Union and the Saffron Generation. 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 January 2011 13:04 )  

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