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Activists urging release of Myanmar democracy advocate arrested

[JURIST] Fifteen activists involved in a prayer vigil calling for the release of Myanmar Nobel laureate and political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi [advocacy website; BBC profile] were arrested Wednesday and released later in the day by the military government of Myanmar [government website; JURIST news archive]. The activists joined a group of 31 others who were arrested Tuesday for similar vigils, although the earlier arrested activists remain in custody. Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy [Wikipedia backgrounder], has spent 11 of the past 17 years in prison or under house arrest for alleged violations of an anti-subversion law [text]. Suu Kyi's house arrest is set to end on May 27, but experts expect it to be extended.

On Monday, 59 former world leaders, including former US Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter, sent a letter urging the government of Myanmar to "[immediately] release the world's only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize Laureate." Suu Kyi, with the exception of her housemaid or doctor, is prohibited from contact with any outside visitors or telephone conversations. AP has more.

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