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Women Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Demand UN Action to Free Aung San Suu Kyi


Women Nobel Peace Prize winners have urged the United Nations to take decisive action to secure the release of detained Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Nobel laureates from North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa published a letter Wednesday to mark the 12th year of Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest.

They called the detention of their fellow laureate the most visible sign of the brutality of Burma's military government, which they accuse of gross human rights violations.

Aung San Suu Kyi won the prize in 1991. She has spent nearly 12 of the past 18 years in prison or under house arrest.

Tuesday, Burma's military government agreed to a visit by U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari during the first week of November.

The United Nations Security Council said Gambari, who is on a six-nation tour of Asia, will travel to Burma directly from the region.

Earlier in the week, Burmese officials agreed to allow the U.N. special investigator for human rights, Paul Sergio Pinheiro, into Burma to learn more about the country's recent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Burmese soldiers opened fire in Rangoon last month on thousands of peaceful anti-government protesters, including Buddhist monks. At least 10 people were killed and thousands arrested in Rangoon and other cities.

Pro-democracy activists say the death toll was much higher.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.