US presses for release of Myanmar protesters

Unidentified Myanmar student protesters gesture as they arrive at a court prior to their hearing in Letpadan on March 25, 2015The United States voiced concern Monday at the arrest of and charges against peaceful protesters in Myanmar after a protest over educational reform, and called for their release. More than 60 demonstrators were brought to a court hearing in the central town of Letpadan on Wednesday, two weeks after baton-wielding police violently quelled their rally for education reform in scenes that sparked fears of a return to junta-era repression. “We call for the immediate, unconditional release of all individuals being detained in the country as a result of exercising their right to peacefully assemble,” State Department acting spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement. Myanmar’s quasi-civilian government introduced much-praised reforms after a half-century of military rule ended in 2011.

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