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Myanmar rejects IPU call for releas
- Subject: Myanmar rejects IPU call for releas
- From: tinkyi@xxxxxxx
- Date: Sat, 06 Feb 1999 10:33:00
Subject: Myanmar rejects IPU call for release of MPs
Myanmar rejects IPU call for release of MPs
05:26 a.m. Feb 06, 1999 Eastern
BANGKOK, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Myanmar's military government on Saturday
rejected a call by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) for the release of
detained opposition politicians who it said would be freed only if they
obeyed the law.
The ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) said in a statement
obtained in Bangkok the government would avoid taking legal action against
elected members of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party
if they stayed within the boundaries of the law.
The statement followed a call by the Geneva-based IPU for the release of
some 150-160 opposition Myanmar MPs who had been detained or sentenced to
jail by the government.
``The Myanmar Government would be more than happy not to take any legal
action against MPs provided that they stay within the boundaries of the
law,'' the statement said.
IPU secretary general Anders Johnsson told a news briefing in Geneva on
Friday: ``In Myanmar, the (IPU's humans rights) committee looked at 150 to
160 cases of parliamentarians who have been detained or sentenced.
``Some have died in prison, others are in very bad condition. IPU continues
to demand their unconditional release.''
Johnsson said the Myanmar parliament, dominated by the NLD, had been fairly
elected and should be convened and allowed to do its job.
The NLD, led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, won a landslide victory in
a 1990 general election but the military refused to recognise the results of
Myanmar authorities in the past year have briefly detained several hundred
NLD MPs and supporters to try to stop them from convening the elected
parliament or attending public political rallies.