Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
FRIDAY, 25 APR 2014
12:57 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
22 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
International
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Myanmar announces new prisoner amnesty
Associated Press
Myanmar labourers work at a jetty construction site in Yangon on November 18, 2012. Myanmar's government has said it "warmly welcomes" the historic visit of US President Barack Obama on November 19, expressing hope his trip will bolster the nation's political reform drive. AFP PHOTO/ Soe Than WIN
Myanmar labourers work at a jetty construction site in Yangon on November 18, 2012. Myanmar's government has said it "warmly welcomes" the historic visit of US President Barack Obama on November 19, expressing hope his trip will bolster the nation's political reform drive. AFP PHOTO/ Soe Than WIN
A+ A-

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) - Myanmar's leader has ordered a new prisoner amnesty ahead of a historic visit to the country by President Barack Obama on Monday.

State television said Sunday that President Thein Sein had ordered 66 detainees released, but it was not clear whether any political prisoners would be among them.

A Home Ministry official said Thein Sein signed the amnesty order Friday, but the prisoners will be freed Monday. The official declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the press.

The presidential amnesty was the second announced this week.

On Thursday, Thein Sein announced an amnesty for 452 prisoners, but the move did not include prisoners of conscience and prompted activists to step up calls for the government to release those believed to remain behind bars.

Myanmar's government has long insisted that all prisoners are criminals and does not acknowledge the existence of political detainees. However, the reformist new government, praised for its moves toward democracy, has released hundreds of people this year who were jailed under the former military junta.

A separate press release, issued Sunday, said the government would initiate "initiate a process between the Ministry of Home Affairs and interested parties to devise a transparent mechanism to review remaining prisoner cases of concern by the end of December 2012."

The news came one day ahead of a visit Monday by Obama, who will become the first sitting American president to visit the once-pariah nation, also known as Burma.

Obama is due to meet Thein Sein, as well as opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi before flying to Cambodia later Monday.

Thein Sein's administration has made freedom for political prisoners one of the centerpieces of its reform agenda. Earlier prisoner releases helped convince Western nations, including the United States, to ease sanctions they had imposed against the previous military regime.

Under the now-defunct junta, rights groups said more than 2,000 activists and government critics were wrongfully imprisoned.

Suu Kyi's party says at least 330 political prisoners remain incarcerated.

Obama said Sunday in Thailand that his visit to Myanmar is an acknowledgement of the democratic transition under way but not an endorsement of the country's government.

Obama's words were aimed at countering critics who say his trip to the country is premature.

 
Home International
 
     
 
Burma (Myanmar)
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Thursday April 24, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
For Christians, blessed are the dividers
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
An Iran deal is close, but we’re not there yet
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS