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White House Relieved Over Myanmar

August 14, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Clinton administration expressed relief today at reports that six Americans sentenced to five years of hard labor in Myanmar for handing out pro-democracy leaflets will be deported.

``While we’re pleased that these American citizens will be returning to the United States, this episode is a reminder that there is an absence of protection of human rights in Burma and a failure of the Burmese government to allow freedom of expression,″ White House press secretary Mike McCurry said.

Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been ruled by the military in various guises since 1962.

The six Americans were among 18 foreign activists detained Sunday for handing out small cards to Myanmar citizens telling them the outside world supported their struggle for democracy. The arrests came one day after the 10th anniversary of a failed nationwide democracy uprising.

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