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Jubilation as Suu Kyi is released

Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi finally walked to freedom amid massive cheers from elated supporters who flooded the streets outside her home in Burma.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who has been detained for 15 of the past 21 years, was greeted by jubilant crowds who had gathered in Rangoon in anticipation of her release.

Prime Minister David Cameron and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown both welcomed the end to her detention.

Mr Cameron said: "This is long overdue. Aung San Suu Kyi is an inspiration for all of us who believe in freedom of speech, democracy and human rights," he said.

"Her detention was a travesty, designed only to silence the voice of the Burmese people. Freedom is Aung San Suu Kyi's right. The Burmese regime must now uphold it."

Mr Brown said: "There will be joy round the world at the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, the world's most renowned and courageous prisoner of conscience.

"Her release proves that no injustice can last forever, and while Burma's junta can continue its policy of repression it has never been able to wholly silence her voice. Despite enduring two decades of separation, her family has displayed great strength which has proved an inspiration to us all.

"Her release from house arrest - where she has spent 15 of the last 21 years - is only a partial victory, because her liberation and that of the Burmese people will not be complete until she is able to take up her position as the rightful leader of her country. Support from people of good conscience everywhere must continue as she fights for the freedom of her people."

Campaigners, who lined the streets ahead of the release, had also gathered at the headquarters of her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), in a show of solidarity.

There had been an increased police presence in the area, fuelling speculation that her time in detention was nearing an end.

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