Political Prisoners Released in Amnesty

By Political Prisoners, The Irrawaddy 3 July 2012

Burma’s state-run media has reported that 80 prisoners, including at least 22 political prisoners, were granted amnesty on Tuesday under a presidential decree.

According to a report by The New Light of Myanmar on Tuesday, the figure of 80 released prisoners includes 34 foreigners who were subsequently deported.

The report stated that, in accordance with Section 204 (a) of the State Constitution, amnesty was granted to 46 Burmese prisoners—37 male and 9 female—with a view “to ensuring the stability of the State and making eternal peace, national reconciliation, enabling all to participate in political process.”

According to Bo Kyi, the joint-secretary of the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), only six political prisoners were so far included the government amnesty.

Sources named them as: Than Zaw from Thayet prison; Aung Aung Oo from Kathar prison; Aung Kyaw Moe from Myitkyina prison; Phyit Phyo Aung from Pyi prison; Aye Aung from Kalay prison; and Dr. Kyaw Kyaw from Myingyan prison.

Sources close to Insein prison in Rangoon contradicted that report, saying that at least 12 political prisoners were released form Insein prison on Tuesday.

And Pyone Cho, a leading member of 88 Generation Students Group, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that at least 22 political prisoners were included in the amnesty. However, he could not confirm the names of those released.

According to New York-based Human Rights Watch, at least 659 political prisoners in Burma have been freed over the past year. It says that some 200 to 600 political activists remain in detention across Burma.