YANGON, Burma (AP) — Residents say five Buddhist monks have staged a rare protest inside a famous pagoda in Burma’s second-largest city, and called for the immediate release of political prisoners.

They say the monks locked themselves inside a museum in Maha Myatmuni pagoda in central Mandalay city on Tuesday. The temple is popular among pilgrims as well as tourists to the military-dominated country.

Ni Ni Tun, a 35-year-old Mandalay resident, says the monks hung banners with slogans in Burmese and English on the museum wall as some 300 people gathered outside the compound to watch.

He says the banners read “Free all political prisoners” and “We want freedom.”

Han Win Aung, an activist, says the people gathered to show support for the monks. He and Ni Ni Tun were contacted by telephone.