Burmese opposition members say a pro-government militia has taken away
at least 10 supporters of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as they
gathered to mark her 63rd birthday and call for her release.
say some of the supporters were beaten by members of a pro-government
militia before being taken away Thursday. The militia members moved in
to disperse a crowd demonstrating outside the offices of the National
League for Democracy in Burma's main city Rangoon.
demonstrators had shouted slogans calling on the ruling military
government to release Aung San Suu Kyi from house detention.
and European leaders today also condemned the Nobel laureate's
detention, which has lasted more than 12 of the past 18 years.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a statement today, calling Aung San Suu Kyi's detention "deplorable."
is urging the military government to release the Nobel laureate, as
well as nearly 2,000 other political prisoners currently in custody.
top U.S. diplomat is also calling on Burmese rulers to begin "a genuine
dialogue" with Aung San Suu Kyi and other democratic and ethnic
minority leaders on a transition to democracy.
The European Parliament today issued a similar appeal and also called for tightening sanctions against Burma.
today, Amnesty International called for the release of two political
prisoners in urgent need of medical attention. The London-based human
rights group says one of the detainees suffers from paralysis and other
health problems caused by torture.
Aung San Suu Kyi spent her
birthday quietly at her home in Rangoon, where she is largely cut off
from the outside world. All visitors are barred apart from her cook and
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.