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Burma’s Amnesty and Release of Political Prisoners

By Canadian Friends of Burma  •  October 13, 2011

Approximately 200 political prisoners including famous comedian Zargana and labour activist Suu Suu Nway – the two Burmese activists honoured in Canada with human rights awards – have been released under an amnesty announced for a total of 6,359 prisoners in Burma. However, the majority of political prisoners including prominent political figures Min Ko Naing and Khun Htun Oo still remain in jail.

Indeed, the Canadian Friends of Burma is pleased to hear news on the release of some political prisoners but expected more. “The reported number of political prisoners – a mere 10% – receiving the amnesty while the vast majority still languishing in prison is still unacceptable”, said Tin Maung Htoo, Executive Director of Canadian Friends of Burma.

More than 2,000 political prisoners are being imprisoned in more than 42 prisons and 107 labour camps across the country. In early this year May, notably right after the current government came into power, the first amnesty took place with the release of a total of 14,578 prisoners; however, a few dozens of political prisoners were included in that number.

“It is important for President Thein Sein to demonstrate that his government is capable of moving forward by taking bold steps. Otherwise, it would be a setback for the accelerated political reform that he himself initiated recently,” added Tin Maung Htoo.

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This post is in: Press Release

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