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Officials React to Burma's Mass Prisoner Release


The U.N.'s special envoy for Burma, Razali Ismail, has hailed the mass release of prisoners in the military-run country.

Malaysia's official Bernama news agency quoted the Malaysian diplomat Monday as saying an impressive number of political prisoners were released, including a student democracy leader, Min Ko Naing.

Asked to comment on the continued house arrest of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Mr. Razali told Bernama that the Nobel laureate has said she does not want to be released until all other political prisoners have been freed.

On Friday, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed Burma's announcement that nearly 4,000 prisoners would be released and called for freedom for all political prisoners in that country.

But U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos, ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee and co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, warned the releases could just be a cynical ploy.

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