Appreciating the Myanmar government’s recent decision to release an American citizen, US President Barack Obama on Tuesday asked the country’s military leadership to set free all political prisoners, including pro—democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.
Ms. Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League of Democracy, has been under house arrest for more than 14 years.
She is the only imprisoned Nobel laureate.
“The President is pleased that Senator Webb has facilitated the release of American citizen John Yettaw from detention in Burma. He appreciates this decision by the Burmese Government,” the White House said in a statement.
Mr. Yettaw was released following Senator Jim Webb’s landmark talks with Myanmar’s reclusive junta chief Than Shwe on August 16.
“The President also notes that in addition to meeting with head of state Than Shwe, Senator Webb was able to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi, the first meeting by a US official with her for many years,” the statement said.
“We urge the Burmese leadership in this spirit to release all the political prisoners it is holding in detention or in house arrest, including Aung San Suu Kyi,” it said.
Yettaw was sentenced to seven years’ hard labour by a Myanmar court for swimming to the lakeside house of Suu Kyi in May.