Last updated: 11 may, 2010 - 16:51 GMT

Political prisoners in Burma

U Win Tin - Founding member of the National League for Democracy (NLD). He was jailed for 19 years in Burma's notorious Insein prison.

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Burma's ruling military regime has been warned that its plans for elections later in the year "lack legitimacy".

A US envoy made the statement after nearly two hours of private talks with the detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Her party, the National League for Democracy, has disbanded after new laws were passed requiring them to expel Ms Suu Kyi as leader, although a small faction says it will take part in the poll.

Aung San Suu Kyi is Burma's most high profile political prisoner, but according to Amnesty International she is far from being the only one.

They say that more than 2,100 people have been detained for their political beliefs - the highest number for over 20 years.

The photographer and activist James Mackay has been working on a project to draw attention to the plight of those political prisoners by photographing former detainees.

He calls it Even Though I'm Free I Am Not, and each of the subjects is shown with the name of a current prisoner written on their raised hand.

James came into the Outlook studio with former prisoner Nita May - who works for the BBC's Burmese Service and is one of the people that he photographed - and he told Matthew Bannister how the project began.

click James Mackay's photos - Even Though I'm Free I Am Not

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