Myanmar's military government should immediately release three prominent student leaders it arrested on the 18th anniversary of Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's democracy movement, the United Nations special envoy for human rights in the country said Thursday.
Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi and Htay Kywe - three supporters of Suu Kyi - were picked up Wednesday at their homes by the military and detained in different locations, independent UN expert Paulo Sergio Pinheiro said.
Pinheiro called on Myanmar's ruling junta to immediately release the three prisoners. He said in a statement that he was "extremely worried about their present condition" because he had received "numerous reports of human rights violations in pretrial detention" in Myanmar during his six years as the UN's primary rights investigator for the country also known as Burma.
The three activists are part of the "88 Generation Students Group," which the government often accuses of trying to destabilizing the country. They had served lengthy prison sentences of a decade or more and were released along with hundreds of dissidents in late 2004.