Thursday, November 18th, 2010 at 10:15 pm UTC
The United Nations human rights committee has condemned Burma’s recent elections, saying they were not free, fair nor transparent.
The key U.N. committee approved the resolution Thursday by a vote of 96 in favor and 28 against
It also called for Burma’s military government to release all political prisoners.
Earlier Thursday, Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi , who was released from house arrest Saturday, spoke by phone with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The two urged Burma’s military rulers to release all remaining political prisoners.
A U.N. statement says the two called for the release of political prisoners so all Burmese citizens can contribute to national reconciliation and a transition to democracy in Burma. Mr. Ban also told Aung San Suu Kyi he is encouraged by her appeals to Burma’s government for dialogue and compromise.
Separately, Aung San Suu Kyi said her release from house arrest should not be seen as evidence Burma’s military rulers are softening their policies.
In an interview with The Associated Press, she said her freedom came because her term of house arrest had expired and “there were no immediate means of extending it.”
Since her release, the Nobel Peace Prize winner has called for reconciliation talks with the junta leader, Than Shwe. But she told The Associated Press the government has not contacted her.
Aung San Suu Kyi also said she believes her detention was “illegal” but that she has no regrets about standing up to the junta, even though it meant spending 15 of the last 21 years under some kind of detention.
The 65-year-old democracy activist walked out of her lakeside Rangoon home Saturday at the end of her latest term of house arrest. The release came days after political parties backed by the military swept Burma’s first elections in two decades.
Western leaders and human rights activists said last Sunday’s vote was neither fair nor free and an effort by Burma’s military to put a civilian face on its continued rule.
The election results show that the military’s political party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, won a large majority of the districts.
Some information in this story was provided by AFP and Reuters.