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Suu Kyi Is on Hunger Strike

U.S. expresses concern for the Myanmar activist, who has been under arrest since May.

September 01, 2003|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has gone on a hunger strike to protest her detention, and the United States is concerned for her safety, the State Department said Sunday.

"The United States has learned that Burma's pro- democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is on a hunger strike to protest her illegal detention by that country's military regime," the State Department said in a statement. "We are deeply concerned for her safety and well- being."

Burma is the country's former name.

Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was arrested May 30 with supporters after a pro-government mob attacked her convoy during a tour in northern Myanmar. Dozens of her supporters were beaten and killed in the incident, which sparked international condemnation of the regime.

Myanmar has insisted that Suu Kyi was detained for her own protection. It is not certain where she is being held.

Washington said Myanmar should release Suu Kyi and her supporters. "The Burmese authorities have full responsibility for her health, having placed her in so-called 'protective custody.' They are also fully responsible for the welfare of all political prisoners," the State Department said.

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