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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 25, 2007
Fact Sheet: Burma: Calling for Human Dignity and Democracy
At the United Nations today, President Bush expressed the outrage of the American people at the continued oppression of the people of Burma. The people of Burma deserve to enjoy basic liberties such as freedom of speech, assembly, and worship. The United States calls on the Burmese regime to engage in a genuine dialogue with its own people, including the leaders of the pro-democracy movement and ethnic minority groups, on a transition to a civilian, democratic government. The Burmese regime should release those who have been arrested for peacefully expressing their views, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and should also exercise restraint in the face of peaceful protests.
President Bush called for a series of steps to help bring peaceful change to Burma. The President urged the United Nations and all nations to use their diplomatic and economic leverage to help the Burmese people reclaim their freedom.
President Bush announced that the United States will tighten economic sanctions. Sanctions against Burma were first imposed in 1997 with the issuance of Executive Order 13047. These sanctions were augmented on July 28, 2003 by the enactment of the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act and the issuance of Executive Order 13310.
President Bush also announced that the United States will expand the current visa ban.
President Bush instructed his Administration to step up efforts to support the work of humanitarian groups that are alleviating suffering in Burma. Burma is experiencing a crisis on many fronts, including in health and education, and these humanitarian groups carry out important work to help in these areas.
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