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Chairman Kerry Statement On The Release Of American Citizen Held In Burma


Location: Washington, DC

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) today released the following statement:

"Kyaw Zaw Lwin spent seven months in unjust confinement and we are all relieved that his ordeal is now over. Sadly, while he is coming home, Burma's junta continues to hold its grip on 2,200 political prisoners. All are jailed for one reason -- their efforts to convince the Burmese junta to respect basic human rights and agree to a genuine democratic process.

"The junta plans to hold elections later this year, but there is no evidence at this stage that they intend for these elections to be free and fair. In concert with our friends and partners in East Asia and around the world, the United States must redouble its efforts to persuade the junta to open discussions with the opposition and ethnic groups, to conduct genuinely free and fair elections, and to honor the aspirations of the Burmese people for a peaceful transition to democratic rule."

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