Myanmar to free most political detainees in year-end amnesty
YANGON (REUTERS) - Myanmar is expect to release most of its prisoners of conscience on Tuesday and scores more awaiting trial, activists said, after the government announced a year-end amnesty for those held for political reasons.
State-run MRTV announced the presidential amnesty in a bulletin late on Monday but did not reveal the number due for release, but an organisation that tracks political detainees and assists the government said it expected 230 to be freed and the rest in mid-January.
The amnesty follows a promise by reformist President Thein Sein during a visit to Britain in July that there would be no political prisoners held in Myanmar's jails by the end of the year.
The EU, United States and other Western countries have increased aid and investment and suspended most sanctions, partly in response to Myanmar freeing hundreds of political prisoners and other liberal reforms unimaginable under the juntas that ruled for 49 unbroken years.