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One year ago, Burma held multiparty elections to select a new government. Independent observers reported that the elections, despite some concerns, were credible and reaffirmed the commitment of the Burmese people to democracy. The military’s coup on February 1 sought to overthrow the will of the people and erase the outcome of that credible election. The military’s subsequent and ongoing violent crackdown has further undermined human rights and fundamental freedoms and reversed a decade of progress toward a genuine democracy that the people of Burma clearly sought and still seek.

On the anniversary of the November 8 election, we honor the people of Burma striving to restore democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law in their country, including more than 1,300 innocent people who have lost their lives in that struggle. The United States is committed to promoting justice and accountability for these and other abuses by the regime. Today, we reiterate our call for the military regime immediately to cease violence, release all those unjustly detained, and return Burma’s path to a genuine and inclusive democracy.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future