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PRESS RELEASES, OPEN LETTERS, STATEMENTS

For Immediate Release: 11 April 2007

ACTIVISTS CHALLENGE BURMESE JUNTA: RELEASE SUU KYI

Jakarta: A group of activists representing human rights organizations from East and Southeast Asia today renewed calls for the immediate release of Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. They also called on the Government of Indonesia to take a stronger stand on democracy and human rights in Burma.

Burma's democracy leader has been illegally detained for over 11 years and her detention order expires on May 27, 2007. The activists have challenged the junta to uphold their recent statement on Army Day that human rights abuses "do not exist in Burma" and release the Nobel Peace Laureate.

"The regime has previously promised to release her. Now they say there are no human rights violations in Burma. If that's the case, they should release Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners immediately." said Debbie Stothard, Coordinator of Altsean-Burma (the Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma). There are more than 1,100 prisoners of conscience living in deplorable conditions in Burma's notorious jails.

The activists from Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand who were at a Regional Team Meeting also condemned the regime's worst offensive in 10 years against the ethnic Karen. Over the past 16 months, the war has displaced 27,000 civilian Karen and weapons fire has spilled over into Thailand.

They urged Indonesia, their respective governments and the international community to stop the incarceration of Aung San Suu Kyi, and the raging offensive against unarmed civilians.

"The international community must be clear that they will not tolerate these serious human rights abuses any longer. Indonesia should use its position on the UN Security Council to push for change in Burma. We need this now. The people of Burma have been suffering too long," asserted Hseng Noung from the Women's League of Burma.

Yesterday, the activists attended a public forum on Burma on Indonesia's Foreign Policy and Democracy in Burma. The Forum, organized by the Civil Society Coalition on Burma (KMSUB) featured speakers from Burma as well as Indonesia Parliamentarian Andreas Pareira.

ENDS

Contact:

Tri Agus Siswowiharjo, KMSUB. Tel: + 62 815 803 1814 or 0815 803 1814

Debbie Stothard, Altsean-Burma. Tel: + 66 81 686 1652