The Straits Times
Published on Nov 19, 2012

Myanmar frees political prisoners on day of historic Obama visit


YANGON (REUTERS) - Myanmar's government began releasing dozens of political prisoners on Monday as Mr Barack Obama arrived for the first visit by a sitting American president to the former dictatorship.

Sixty-six prisoners were scheduled to be freed, two-thirds of them dissidents, according to prison officials and activists.

They included prominent figures such as Mr Myint Aye, a senior Prison Department official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A third of those released were former military intelligence personnel who fell foul of the junta, according to the 88 Generation Students political group.