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23 July 2009

Indonesia calls for release of Myanmar democracy leader

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Indonesia's foreign minister has said Burma must release democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi if its 2010 elections are to be credible. Indonesia has been pushing for tougher action against human rights violators during meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations this week in Thailand, reported the Straits Times.

Indonesians Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda on Tuesday gave a clear message to Myanmar's military government.

He said Myanmar's elections next year will not be free and fair if anyone is restricted from participating, including the detained democracy leader.

"We have been saying to them (Myanmar) directly that the process must be inclusive for all groups in society … including Aung San Suu Kyi," he said.

Wirayuda made the comments on the second day of meetings of foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Myanmar.

Indonesia has been pushing for a stronger human rights body to deal with situations like Myanmar, where more than 2,000 political prisoners are behind bars.


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