Myanmar frees at least three political prisoners in amnesty

July 3, 2012 09:18

YANGON - Myanmar's president has freed 46 people in a general amnesty, state media reported on Tuesday, and at least three were prominent political prisoners according to a pro-democracy activist.

In addition to the 46 Myanmar nationals, authorities freed 34 foreigners under the amnesty, state media said.Human rights activist Ko Ko Gyi, who was himself only released in January, told Reuters that three of those freed, Than Zaw, Ko Aye Aung and Pyit Phyo Aung, were political prisoners.

Under President Thein Sein's quasi-civilian government, which took office in March last year, more than 650 political prisoners were freed between May last year and January.

Among the latest, Than Zaw, a former youth member of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party, had been in prison since 1989 for a bombing that another man had confessed to, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

Western countries have renewed engagement with Myanmar since the reformist government took office and they have urged that all political prisoners be released as a condition for the full lifting of sanctions.

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