06/23/2011, 00.00
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Aung San Suu Kyi appeals to the U.S. Congress, for human rights in Myanmar

A video message to Congress in which the Nobel Laureate appeals for help in the liberation of political prisoners and an investigation into abuses in the country. It is the first, historic speech by the opposition leader to Americans politicians. The birth of the UN Commission hampered by Asian nations, including China.
Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Help in securing the release of more than two thousand political prisoners and decisive action within the United Nations to launch an investigation into the violation of human rights in Myanmar. This is what Aung San Suu Kyi has asked for in her first, historic speech to the U.S Congress, meeting in Washington. The Nobel Laureate’s appeal was contained in a pre-recorded video message broadcast to the House of Representatives yesterday by a maxi-screen. The government and the entire U.S. Congress are among the strongest supporters of opposition leader and, with the EU, have sponsored a series of economic and trade sanctions against the regime of Burma.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) leader sees the release of political prisoners as "crucial in understanding" whether the new government - made up of civilians in theory, in reality controlled by the military junta in power for 20 years - is "sincere in its democratic aspirations. " "Why - asked the icon in the struggle for human rights – are they still in prison" and forced to live in inhumane conditions. She adds that it makes no sense that there are "prisoners of conscience in the country" if the executive appointed by Parliament - the result of the farcical vote held in November 2010 - is really determined to "make progress toward democracy."

Aung San Suu Kyi, 66, has spent 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest and regained her freedom in mid-November, the day after the election. The "Lady" has asked the U.S. parliamentarians to do "all you can" to support the work of Tomas Ojea Quintana, UN special envoy for human rights in Myanmar, and to create a committee of inquiry to investigate cases of abuse without thereby, becoming an international tribunal.

In fact the U.S. has publicly promoted the UN investigation, but has met with resistance from different Asian countries, among which China - now has become the biggest trading partner of Burma. Human rights activists say that Myanmar has a record percentage of abuses and violations, including deaths in custody, extra-judicial killings, torture and sexual violence against women, as well as child soldiers and forced labour for the army .
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