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Myanmar Starts Release Of Political Prisoners


Myanmar began releasing political prisoners on Friday, a day after newly appointed state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi said all remaining detainees held for political reasons would be set free, a report said.

It added that the political prisoners were to be among a more general amnesty for around 4,000 prisoners across the country citing unnamed government officials.

It was not clear how many of the remaining political detainees were among those released Friday.

According to a statement signed by Suu Kyi on Thursday, the government aims to release all political prisoners and activists awaiting trial by the Thingyan, New Year period, which starts on April 11.

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“There are currently 90 inmates convicted of political crimes and a further 418 awaiting trial in the country, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma).

“Releasing prisoners of conscience held for their involvement in peaceful political activities is one of the priorities of the new government.

“This was in line with the long-standing advocacy for those prisoners by her National League for Democracy party, endorsed by the will of the people in the landslide election victory in November,’’ she said.

Report says general prisoner amnesties are fairly common in Myanmar.
It said an amnesty in July for almost 7,000 inmates included around 20 political prisoners. (dpa/NAN)

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