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Amnesty Says EU Should Address Burma's Human Rights Record


Amnesty International is urging the European Union to raise concerns about Burma's human rights situation during the Europe-Asia summit in Beijing this week.

The London-based rights group says it has sent a letter to the EU's French presidency underlining the importance of the rare opportunity to engage in direct dialogue with Burmese authorities.

Amnesty International says the EU should raise concerns about Burma's approximately 2,100 political prisoners, as well as the military offensive against ethnic Karen civilians in eastern Burma.

Leaders from Burma and at least 40 other European and Asian nations will attend the summit in Beijing Friday and Saturday.

Burma's military leaders tolerate little dissent and have kept the popular opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for 13 of the past 19 years.

The government says it is implementing democratic reforms, but critics argue recent changes to the constitution tighten the military's grip on power.

Australia expanded its sanctions against Burma's military government this week to protest what it says is the country's lack of democratic progress.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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