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Friday, 1 March, 2002, 14:30 GMT
Five freed in Burma
Aung San Suu Kyi pictured at her home in 1995
Suu Kyi has held secret talks with the government
The Burmese military government says it has released from detention another five members of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD).

The move follows a recent visit by the United Nations human rights envoy, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, who urged the authorities to release all political prisoners, and to speed up the process.

Prisoners released
Kyaw Aye
Myo Myint
Hla Sein
Tin Kyi
Thein Zaw
On Thursday, 68 women detained for what the authorities described as various criminal offences were freed.

More than 200 opposition members are now reported to have been released since the Burmese Government began talks on national reconciliation with the NLD leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, in October 2000.

The NLD says that about 800 of its activists are still in prison.

The NLD won Burma's last democratic elections in 1990, but the military prevented it from taking power.

Visit blocked

Earlier this week, officials from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said they had been prevented from seeing Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest in Rangoon.

They said police refused to let them through a checkpoint blocking the road to the house.

The two officials were at the end of a week-long visit to Burma to check whether the government had put an end to the practice of forced labour.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been held under virtual house arrest since September 2000.

For much of that time, the government has been involved in secret talks with Aung San Suu Kyi and her opposition National League for Democracy.

See also:

25 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
Burma police block Suu Kyi visit
19 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
UN envoy 'satisfied' with Burma trip
12 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Burma's generals feel the heat
30 Jan 02 | Asia-Pacific
Aung San Suu Kyi meets Burma general
15 Nov 01 | Asia-Pacific
ILO builds pressure over forced labour
05 Dec 01 | Asia-Pacific
Burma's slow road to reform
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