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Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:40 AM

Burma frees more than 450 prisoners before Barack Obama's visit

Source: The Guardian

Jason Burke in Delhi
Thursday 15 November 2012 05.56 EST

Burmese authorities have freed more than 450 detainees in a goodwill gesture before a historic visit by the US president, Barack Obama. But human rights campaigners said the list of released prisoners did not include any political dissidents.

Announcing the amnesty the latest in a series that have coincided with high-profile visits of foreign dignitaries or trips by senior Burmese leaders overseas state media said late on Wednesday that its aim was "to help promote goodwill and the bilateral relationship".

A home ministry official told Reuters that an unspecified number of the country's remaining 300 or more political detainees would be released.

However Bo Kyi, of the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), said no prisoners of conscience had been freed so far. "All are common criminals or foreign nationals from China, Thailand or neighbouring countries. We know of no political prisoners among the 452 freed today," he said ...

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/15/burma-frees-prisoners-barack-obama

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Reply Burma frees more than 450 prisoners before Barack Obama's visit (Original post)
struggle4progress Nov 2012 OP
pampango Nov 2012 #1

Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:18 AM

1. Unfortunately the release does not include political dissidents. More pressure needed.

Burma frees more than 450 prisoners before Barack Obama's visit

Human rights campaigners say no dissidents are among prisoners to be released in 'goodwill gesture'

Burmese authorities have freed more than 450 detainees in a goodwill gesture before a historic visit by the US president, Barack Obama. But human rights campaigners said the list of released prisoners did not include any political dissidents.

Announcing the amnesty the latest in a series that have coincided with high-profile visits of foreign dignitaries or trips by senior Burmese leaders overseas state media said late on Wednesday that its aim was "to help promote goodwill and the bilateral relationship".

A home ministry official told Reuters that an unspecified number of the country's remaining 300 or more political detainees would be released.

However Bo Kyi, of the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), said no prisoners of conscience had been freed so far. "All are common criminals or foreign nationals from China, Thailand or neighbouring countries. We know of no political prisoners among the 452 freed today," he said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/15/burma-frees-prisoners-barack-obama

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