Dec 07, 2010

Burma: UN Calls on Burma to Free All Political Prisoners


The United Nations has made a fresh call for Burma to free all political prisoners after talks between key countries on how to coax the junta out of its isolation.


Below is an article published by AFP:


The call was made at a meeting convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after a special envoy visited Burma.

Participants urged Burma's ruling generals to launch talks with the Aung San Suu Kyi-led opposition following elections and the junta's release of the long-detained Nobel Peace Prize-winning democracy icon, a UN spokesman said in a statement on

"In order for any transition to succeed, it is imperative that this should involve not only those who participated and won seats in the election, but also those who did not or could not," said the statement.

"This must include the release of political prisoners. Addressing concerns about the credibility of the process to date is also essential for any next steps to succeed."

The international community widely criticised Burma's November 7 election. Most opposition parties were banned and Suu Kyi's release from nearly two decades of detention only came after.

Ban has called for "broad-based and inclusive" political changes, but the junta has shown little sign that it will make concessions, diplomats said.

UN envoy Vijay Nambiar addressed the so-called Group of Friends meeting with Ban and representatives of about 14 countries, including Australia, Britain, China, France, India, Russia and the United States, as well as Burma's southeast Asian neighbours.

He then briefed the UN Security Council on his visit but did not speak to reporters after the closed hearing.