The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Feb 07, 2013
 

Myanmar committee to 'grant liberty' to dissidents

 
 

YANGON (AFP) - Myanmar's leader has set up a committee to review political prisoner cases "to grant them liberty", state media said on Thursday, in a rare direct acknowledgement of dissidents in the nation's jails.

The regime, which long denied their existence, has freed hundreds of political detainees since President Thein Sein took power in March 2011, and announced a review of all "politically concerned" cases in November last year.

The latest statement referred specifically to "political prisoners" and pledged to define who is a "prisoner of conscience" among those jailed - many for several years or more - and work towards their release.

The committee members are yet to be picked, but will be made up of government representatives as well as civil society groups and other political party members, the statement in the English-language New Light of Myanmar said.