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Myanmar's President Pardons 44 Political Prisoners



Yangon, Myanmar, 11 December 2013: Myanmar's president has pardoned 44 political prisoners, coinciding with the country's hosting of the Southeast Asian Games.

The majority of those freed on Wednesday were activists charged under a peaceful assembly law that sets a maximum one-year prison term to people who protest without permission.

Bo Kyi, a member of the Political Prisoner Scrutiny Committee, which recommends people to be released, said about 50 political prisoners remain detained. More than 1,000 had been previously freed.

The continued detention of political prisoners in Myanmar has been a concern of the U.S. and other Western nations that want to promote the country's transition to democracy following a half-century of military rule.

Myanmar is using the Southeast Asian Games, which run from Dec. 1-22, to showcase its transformation from international outcast to fledgling democracy.
Source: AP




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