Several women U.S. senators have formed a political group to highlight rights abuses in Burma.

Co-chair Senator Dianne Feinstein from California says the mission of the new group is to shine a light on what she called one of the most critical human rights situations in the world today.

First Lady Laura Bush attended the launch of the group Wednesday, saying she is pleased that both Democratic and Republican senators are coming together to address Burma. More than 15 senators have joined the group.

The group's first act Wednesday was to send a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, urging him to press Burma's government to release opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Co-chair Diane Hutchinson from Texas says Aung San Suu Kyi has dedicated her life and sacrificed herself for the cause of democracy in Burma.

A Nobel laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi has spent most of the last 17 years under some form of detention. Her latest term of house arrest is up for review on May 27.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won parliamentary elections in 1990, but the military junta did not allow it to take power.

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department released a statement calling for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners in Burma. 

Some information for this report provided by AP.