updated 10/30/2007 11:16:05 PM ET 2007-10-31T03:16:05

Myanmar's military government freed seven members of Aung San Suu Kyi's pro-democracy party Tuesday who had been held for more than a month following the junta's deadly crackdown on anti-government protests, the party said.

The releases came ahead of a visit by U.N. special envoy Ibrahim Gambari to seek reconciliation between the junta and democratic forces since the demonstrations led by Buddhist monks, the biggest protests in the Southeast Asian nation in nearly two decades.

The seven, including party spokesman Myint Thein, had been detained at the infamous Insein Prison in Yangon, said Nyan Win, spokesman for Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party.

"All these people had been arrested unnecessarily, and we demand the immediate and unconditional release of all those detained arbitrarily," another NLD spokesman, Han Tha, told The Associated Press. He added that at least 150 party members out of nearly 300 who had been arrested since September remain in detention.

Han Tha said many of them have been denied proper medical treatment and were living in harsh conditions.

The government had earlier said it detained about 3,000 people in connection with the protests but had released most of them. Many reports have emerged of brutal treatment in custody.

Demonstrations that began Aug. 19 over high prices for fuel and consumer goods mushroomed over several weeks into a broad-based movement that attracted thousands of people in Yangon, the country's biggest city, and other areas.

Troops crushed the protests by shooting at demonstrations on Sept. 26-27, arresting thousands, including Buddhist monks.

The government said 10 people were killed, but dissident groups put the toll at up to 200 and thousands arrested including a number of monks.

The junta accused the league the 88 Generation Students group, exiled dissidents and the United States of inciting the protests.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments