Thursday, June 4, 2009

Burma detains women, children for protest

(The Australian) -POLICE in Burma detained two women and four children after they held a protest asking the US embassy to help obtain the release of a prisoner, an official said.

The group unfurled a banner asking for assistance as the husband of one of the women had earlier been arrested by authorities in the military-ruled nation, the official said on condition of anonymity.

"Two women and four children have been detained for questioning as they staged a small protest in front of the American Embassy," the official said.

The banner said "Please help as my husband was arrested unjustly," according to the official.

No further details of the women could be obtained and the US Embassy was not immediately available for comment.

The embassy is near a road that leads to the house of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is currently in jail facing trial on charges of breaching her house arrest after an American man swam uninvited to her residence.

More than 2100 political prisoners are currently in Burma jails, according to UN figures, many serving decades-long sentences and often kept in grim conditions. Burma has been ruled by the military since 1962. Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's party won the popular vote in 1990 elections but was never allowed to take power.

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