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Stars join call for Suu Kyi’s release

BANGKOK, 19 June 2009: Renowned stars Paul McCartney, Julia Roberts and top footballer David Beckham have joined other celebrities and millions of people around the world calling for the release of Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi on her 64th birthday today.

To commemorate her birthday and almost 14 years in detention, protests and events are being held in over 20 cities across the world, calling for the release of Suu Kyi and the 2,156 political prisoners currently held in Myanmar.

McCartney, Yoko Ono and other celebrities will be making special 64-word statements commemorating Suu Kyi’s birthday.

These will be available at the specially-created, said a group of more than 20 non-governmental organisations organising the events.

Other celebrities who have sent messages include George Clooney, Beckham, Roberts, Daniel Craig and Richard Branson while Stephen Fry, Eddie Izzard, Kevin Spacey and Sarah Brown have been “tweeting” about the campaign.

The protesters will also be calling on the United Nations Security Council to step up the pressure on the military regime by establishing a global arms embargo on Myanmar.

Suu Kyi is currently facing trial by the authorities for violating the terms of her house arrest, after an American man swam across a lake to visit her house in early May. For this, she faces up to five years imprisonment.

She has spent almost 14 of the last 19 years under house arrest after the military junta refused to acknowledge her National League for Democracy party’s victory in the 1990 general election. — Bernama


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