Sunday, February 14, 2010

Burma Frees Pro-Democracy Party Deputy Leader

Via -

Burma's ruling junta has released the deputy leader of the country's pro-democracy party from nearly seven years in detention, but offered no indication that he or still-detained party leader Aung San Suu Kyi would be allowed to take part in this year's elections.

The release yesterday of 82-year-old Tin Oo, who helped found the National League for Democracy with Aung San Suu Kyi, comes shortly before a UN envoy visits Burma to evaluate the regime's progress on human rights.

"The release of Tin Oo is very welcome, but we should not attach any political significance to the release," said Mark Farmaner, director of the rights group Burma Campaign UK. "Burmese democracy activists are regularly released when the generals want to score points with the international community, and are then arrested again later."

Speaking after police officers entered his house and announced his release, a defiant Tin Oo told reporters: "I will continue to work for democracy."

Tin Oo, whose latest term of detention expired yesterday, had spent nearly seven years in prison and under house arrest. The junta renewed his detention on an annual basis since his arrest in 2003.

Wearing the peach-coloured traditional jacket of the league, Tin Oo said he was "very hopeful" Aung San Suu Kyi would also soon be released, noting that in 1995 he was released from an earlier stint in prison not long before Suu Kyi herself was set free.

Tin Oo said he would ask authorities to allow him to visit Aung San Suu Kyi, and thanked the UN, EU and others for pressing for his release.

No comments:

Post a Comment