UN Chief Meets Burma's Junta over Political Prisoners

World | July 3, 2009, Friday // 12:06|  views

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UN chief Ban Ki-moon has met Burma's junta leader to lobby for the release of political prisoners, including opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Ban is holding talks with Gen Than Shwe in the remote administrative capital Naypyidaw. He has called for the immediate release of all Burma's political prisoners, thought to number about 2 100.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate, has spent much of the past two decades in prison or under house arrest.

Her trial on charges of breaking the terms of her house arrest, has been adjourned for another week.

Suu Kyi's lawyers have been appealing against the judge's ban on testimony from three defence witnesses. One additional defence witness will be allowed to testify.

"The Supreme Court did not send the case files to the lower court, so the case has been adjourned until July 10," said her lawyer Nyan Win. He added Suu Kyi had expressed surprise at the further delay.

The trial of 64-year-old Suu Kyi has caused outrage around the world. Critics of Burma's military government have dismissed it as a ruse to keep the opposition leader locked up until after next year's election.

It is not clear if Ban will be allowed to meet Suu Kyi - he would be the first UN secretary general to do so if that happens.

Suu Kyi was transferred from house arrest to prison in May after an American man swam to her lake-side house. She faces up to five years in jail if convicted.

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Tags: Ban Ki-moon, UN, Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi

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