Burma to release political prisioners

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The Burmese government has announced that they will release 69 political prisioners. Their release is a promise from President Thein Sein, who said will set free all prisioners free of conscience.

Burma has been releasing political prisioners since they began to take their first steps towards democracy nack in 2010.

Campaigners said before this release that there were 133 political prisoners still in jail.

Among the freed detainees were:

  • Former leader General Ne Win’s grandchildren, who were sentenced to death 11 years ago for allegedly trying to stage a coup d’etat.
  • Naw Ohn Hla, a prominent female activist sentenced to two years in jail in August for opposing a controversial Chinese-backed copper mine, was also to be freed.

The release is a tangible sign of the progress that has been made – three years ago, there were more than 1,000 detainees.

The president has introduced major reforms since the elections of November 2010, which saw military rule replaced by a military-backed civilian government.

A number of political prisoners have been freed and media restrictions have been eased. The opposition has also rejoined the political process.

In response, most international sanctions against Burma have been relaxed.



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