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Suu Kyi sends message of freedom to Brighton Festival

Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has talked about the importance of liberty in a video message recorded for the Brighton Festival.

The film, in which she also thanks the British public for their continued support, is being screened as the festival unveils this year's programme.

Ms Suu Kyi is the guest director of this year's festival.

Her message "use your liberty to promote ours" has been taken to the heart of the arts programme.

She said: "We all think of the Brighton Festival as a time for festivity, for diversity, for creativity, for freedom of expression.

"This is especially important to us in Burma who have been deprived of this right of freedom for very many years.

"We look to you to use your freedom of expression to let the world know what it is like in our country."

House arrest

Festival organisers said Ms Suu Kyi's video message highlighted the importance of both liberty and freedom of expression.

She will not be attending the festival this year but has said she found it "especially pleasing" to see Brighton's festival taking shape, "albeit remotely".

Image caption This year's festival will champion Ms Suu Kyi's cause and explore themes of freedom and voice

The Burmese military authorities released the Nobel Peace Prize winner from house arrest on 13 November last year.

She had been detained for 15 of the previous 21 years.

Since her release, she has called for a peaceful revolution in Burma and said she hoped for a non-violent end to military rule.

The Asian Dub Foundation will open this year's festival with a live performance inspired by the struggle in Burma.

Events also include a discussion with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange called Article 19, which will look at Freedom of Information and the right to know.

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