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U.S. criticizes Suu Kyi treatment

Aung San Suu Kyi was detained in May after clash between supporters and pro-government group
Aung San Suu Kyi was detained in May after clash between supporters and pro-government group

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. has expressed relief at a Red Cross report that says Aung San Suu Kyi is not on a hunger strike, but said the Myanmar dissident leader was nevertheless not being treated properly.

"Her situation remains unacceptable," a State Department spokeswoman said Sunday after receiving a report from the Red Cross, which visited her the day before. "Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners should be released immediately."

Suu Kyi, whose pro-democracy efforts earned her the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, has been in military custody for more than three months, since a clash between her supporters and a pro-government group.

Last Sunday, the State Department said Suu Kyi was on a hunger strike to protest her detention by the country's military government and added, "Burmese authorities have full responsibility for her health, having placed her in so-called protective custody since a May 30 premeditated attack on her convoy."

But representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross visited her Saturday and said afterward that she was eating, said spokesman Eros Bosisio.

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won a sweeping victory in a general election in 1990, but Myanmar's military rulers refused to recognize the vote and held on to power.

A Red Cross official who met with Suu Kyi in July reported her to be in "good health" and said she was being held in "fair and decent conditions."

The ICRC visit was the second permitted by the government since July, and had been requested prior to the U.S. hunger strike report, ICRC spokesman Jean-Pascal Moret told Reuters.

"She said she was not on hunger strike. Whether that includes the past and the present, I cannot say," Moret added.


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