Saturday, September 19, 2009

UN chief hails release of Burma dissidents

UN Chief Ban ki-Moon and Burmese dictator General Than Shwe

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — UN chief Ban Ki-moon welcomed Friday the release of a batch of political prisoners in Burma (Myanmar) but urged the junta to free those still being held, including democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

"The Secretary-General welcomes the release of a limited number of political prisoners as part of a larger amnesty," Ban's spokes-woman Michele Montas said. Earlier Friday, Myanmar author-ities freed two journalists who helped victims of last year's Cyclone Nargis and released several opposition activists as part of an amnesty for more than 7,000 prisoners, according to witnesses.

One of the freed journalists was Eint Khaing Oo, 28, who was arrested in 2008. This year she became the first recipient of an award set up in memory of a Japanese video reporter who was killed in monk-led protests in 2007 [during the Saffron Revolution]. More>>