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73 Myanmar political prisoners freed
Publication Date : 25-07-2013
A total of 73 political prisoners jailed in various prisons throughout Myanmar have received a presidential pardon.
The July 23rd released marked the 10th pardon granted during the term of President Thein Sein.
The release of the political prisoners was timed to coincide with the return of the president from his return from Britain and France.
"I guarantee to you that by the end of this year there will be no prisoners of conscience in Myanmar," said the president in his speech to distinguished guests at London's Chatham House during his visit to the UK.
The released political prisoners were from Insein Prison (six), eight from Mandalay Prison, 16 from Myitkyina Prison, one from Hinthada Prison, five from Thayet Prison, one from Mawlamyine Prison, five from Myingyan Prison, five from Shwebo Prison, three from Kengtung Prison, eight from Thayawady Prison, one from Kyaukphyu Prison, 13 from Bhamo Prison and one from Hlayhlawin Prison Camp.
“I was arrested under Section 5 in 2003. I was sentenced to 21 years imprisonment. I spent over 10 years in prison. I feel glad [now that I've been released],” said Win Zaw, a political prisoner.
“I was released from Insein Prison. I was arrested in Yangon under Section 17 (1) in 2012 and I was sentenced to three years imprisonment,” said prisoner Yan Naw Hsan from the Kachin Independence Army.
Tin Maung Oo from Ex-political Prisoners Group said, “We will see Yan Naw Hsan from the KIA who was included in our list. The total number of political prisoners is 172. Fifty-nine out of 73 released prisoners are on our list. According to our list, more than 100 political prisoners still remain in prison.”
“The political prisoners should not be released little by little. The president should release the political prisoners as quickly as possible. We demand the government to immediately release all remaining ones,” said Ye Aung, a member of the government's political prisoner scrutiny committee.
According to the data of political prisoner scrutiny committee, almost one hundred political prisoners are still behind bars. More than a thousand political prisoners have been released so far under the new government, said Bo Kyi of Mae-sot based AAPP (Myanmar).