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Former US president Carter calls for Aung San Suu Kyi's release

Agence France Presse


Former US president and 2002 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter on Friday urged Myanmar's military junta to release democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from detention.

All the Nobel Prize winners "have strongly supported the complete freedom, and release and proper political role of the future of Aung San Suu Kyi," also a Nobel laureate, he said at a Tokyo lecture.

"We would like to do everything possible to promote the world's awareness" over the Myanmar issue, Carter added, praising the incarcerated leader as a "heroic woman".

Aung San Suu Kyi was detained in late May following violence between her supporters and a junta-backed mob as she made a political tour of the country's north.

The United States has claimed she is on hunger strike, an assertion rejected by the Myanmar junta and treated with scepticism by some analysts as no more than an attempt by Washington to bring international pressure to bear on Yangon.

Carter made the comment when a woman from Myanmar asked him to help promote democracy in her country.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won a landslide election victory in 1990, but the result has never been recognised by the ruling military.

Carter arrived in Japan on Thursday for a four-day private visit. He delivered a speech on assisting Africa at the UN University here.