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Burma announces amnesty for 6,359 prisoners
Washington Post ^

Posted on 10/11/2011 10:07:44 AM PDT by AfricanChristian

RANGOON, Burma — Burma on Tuesday announced amnesty for 6,359 prisoners, a group expected to include hundreds of political prisoners whose release would be a dramatic sign of opening after nearly 50 years of autocratic rule.

The United States and Europe have long demanded the release of political prisoners as a condition for the lifting of economic sanctions on Burma, also known as Myanmar.

The sanctions tightly restrict investment, trade and financial transactions. Easing them would probably accelerate a realignment of Burma’s previously close relations with authoritarian China, which was stunned last month when Burmese President Thein Sein halted construction of a mammoth Chinese-financed dam in the north of the country. Thein Sein leaves this week on a trip to India, the world’s largest democracy, which has long competed with China for influence and business deals here.

State-controlled Burmese media said the releases of inmates would begin Wednesday, a Buddhist religious holiday. The announcement did not name those due to be freed, but both supporters and opponents of the regime, as well as diplomats, said they believe the amnesty will cover many pro-democracy activists and others imprisoned because of their political beliefs.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: burma

1 posted on 10/11/2011 10:07:52 AM PDT by AfricanChristian
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