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Myanmar: Ban notes release of some political prisoners

18 September 2009 – While noting the release of a certain number of political prisoners in Myanmar, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the authorities to free all those still detained, including opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, to further national reconciliation and a democratic transition.

“Following his visit to Myanmar in July, the Secretary-General called on the Myanmar authorities to take credible steps in response to several proposals which he left with the senior leadership, including the release of all political prisoners,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.

“He reiterates his call on the Myanmar authorities to take further steps to ensure the release of remaining political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, as a necessary step towards a credible process of national reconciliation and democratic transition.”

Ms. Suu Kyi, who leads the National League for Democracy (NLD), was convicted on 11 August of violating state security laws after an uninvited United States citizen gained access to her home. The Nobel Peace Prize winner, who has already spent over 12 years under house arrest, was sentenced to a further 18 months of the same punishment.

Immediately after the sentencing, Mr. Ban and the Security Council reiterated their frequent calls for the release of all political prisoners in Myanmar.

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