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Massive human rights reform still needed in Burma: Hill



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MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR ROBERT HILL LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Monday, April 27 35/92

MASSIVE HUMAN RIGHTS REFORM STILLĀ· NEEDED IN BURMA: HILLĀ·

The Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Robert Hill, today welcomed the Burmese regime's release of political prisoners, but said massive change was still needed to end the continuing violation of basic human rights in Burma.

"The concessions announced by the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) in the past few days are encouraging, but should be viewed cautiously by the international community," Senator Hill said.

"The release of less than 20 political prisoners is really only a token effort given that thousands of dissidents remain unjustly imprisoned in Burma.

"SLORC's announcement that it will hold talks with opposition parties and convene a constitutional convention must be viewed sceptically in the light of its broken promise to hand over power to the representatives elected by the Burmese people almost two years ago.

"Although the decision to allow the family of Aung San Suu Kyi to visit her is pleasing, her continued detention is abhorrent and her unconditional release is long overdue.

"It is vital that the international community, including Australia, does not see these very modest actions by SLORC as reason to reduce pressure on the Burmese regime to hand over power to the duly elected representatives and cease its

persecution of the ethnic minorities.

"SLORC's release of political prisoners is to be welcomed, but massive change is still needed to end the continuing violation of basic human rights in Burma."

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Enquiries: Senator Hill or Mark Batistich on (06) 277 3170

COMMONWEALTH