Myanmar president frees 56 political prisoners
MYANMAR'S president announced an amnesty yesterday for about 100 prisoners, a senior official said, 56 of whom were confirmed as political detainees by a group monitoring activists held in the country's jails.
The release is the latest in a series of amnesties decided by reformist President Thein Sein and came a day after the European Union lifted all sanctions on Myanmar excluding an arms embargo.
Bo Kyi, of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, told Reuters the group had confirmed the release of 56 political prisoners from five jails. According to AAPP, 176 remain in detention.
More than 800 political prisoners were freed in amnesties between May 2011 and November 2012.
Previous releases of prisoners of conscience, as they are often known, coincided with reviews of Western sanctions or high-level visits, such as that by Thein Sein to Washington last September and US President Barack Obama's landmark trip to Myanmar two months later. Reuters