BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Friday, 2 November 2007, 08:42 GMT
Burma frees democracy activists
Aung San Suu Kyi, photographed receiving the UN's Ibrahim Gambari on 2 October
Some members of Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD were freed last week
The military government in Burma has released 46 more people detained during September's pro-democracy protests.

Most of those freed are members of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Aung San Suu Kyi who remains under house arrest.

The releases come ahead of the arrival in Burma on Saturday of UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari.

Last week the government released a group of 70 prisoners, including about 50 from the NLD.

Meanwhile, internet connections have been greatly reduced.

A government telecommunications official said access to international sites had been restricted for the past 24 hours.

New march

The internet has played a crucial role in bringing the pro-democracy demonstrations and the subsequent crackdown in Burma to the world's attention.

But the flow of information slowed once the military began clamping down.

Earlier this week, more than 100 monks marched in central Burma for the first time since the crackdown.

Witnesses said the monks did not make overt political statements but the march was clearly in defiance of the regime.

Thousands of people, many of them monks, are thought to have been detained by the military during last month's demonstrations.

The government has said 10 people died, though diplomats believe the number is much higher.

The US and the EU have reacted by imposing sanctions and embargoes on the Burmese regime.

Mr Gambari is due to meet the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Turkey on Friday as he travels to the country. He has been calling on Burma's top generals to enter into dialogue with opposition figures.

His last visit to Burma was on 29 September, three days into the military crackdown, when he met junta chief Gen Than Shwe and Ms Suu Kyi.

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific