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Myanmar releases another 46 detained protesters ahead of Gambari visit

[JURIST] The military junta in Myanmar has released an additional 46 people detained during the recent government crackdown [JURIST report] on opponents of the military junta, officials said Friday, after releasing 87 other demonstrators [JURIST report] last week. Six other dissidents were released [JURIST report] on Tuesday. Most of the demonstrators released are members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile]. UN Special Envoy for Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari [official profile] will arrive in Myanmar on Saturday for his second visit [UN press release] to the country since the protests began. Gambari will continue to encourage Myanmar's military junta to move towards democratization and reconciliation. Myanmar monks resumed protests [JURIST report] in central Myanmar earlier this week, marking their first demonstration since the September protests.

The government crackdown against protesters began in August, when Myanmar [JURIST archive] security officers arrested hundreds of Buddhist monks demonstrating against rising fuel prices and human rights abuses by the military regime. Protests only subsided when junta troops effectively locked down Myanmar's major cities. At least 10 people were killed when government soldiers shot into protesting crowds [JURIST report] and the government has said that some 3,000 people were arrested for participating in the protests. It is unclear how many protesters remain in detention. BBC News has more.

2:01 PM ET - The Myanmar government Friday ordered Charles Petrie, the most senior UN diplomat currently serving in the country, to leave Myanmar. After a meeting with government officials, Petrie was given a letter ordering his expulsion. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed disappointment [statement] at the decision, which was made after Petrie urged the Myanmar government to listen to protesters. The New York Times has more.

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