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news - Update: Some Burma Political Prisoners Receive Amnesty

september 18th, 2009

"At least 25 political detainees were released Friday as part of an amnesty for prisoners in Burma, just over 1 percent of the total number of political prisoners believed to be held by its military government.

Win Naing, a spokesman for the opposition National League for Democracy, said the freed political detainees included 16 members of his party as well as activists from other pro-democracy groups. Two journalists were also freed.

Burma's junta announced Thursday that it was granting amnesty to 7,114 prisoners for good behavior and on humanitarian grounds. The country is believed to hold roughly 65,000 prisoners, including more than 2,200 political detainees, according to estimates by human rights groups.

The amnesty did not include the country's best-known political prisoner, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who is head of the National League for Democracy and remains under house arrest.

'We don't know the exact number of political prisoners released under the amnesty immediately. We will know gradually,' Win Naing said. Many prisoners are held in remote areas of the country where communications are difficult."

MORE: "Some Burma political prisoners receive amnesty" (AP)

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