Myanmar junta grants amnesty to 2,831 prisoners
Reports said that mass amnesty was granted in advance of the 59th anniversary of Myanmar's independence from Britain in 1948.india Updated: Jan 03, 2007 14:50 IST
Myanmar's junta on Wednesday granted amnesty to 2,831 prisoners, but it was unclear whether their number included any of the thousands of political prisoners languishing in jails.
Government-run media reported that the mass amnesty was granted in advance of the 59th anniversary of Myanmar's January 4, 1948 independence from Britain.
The junta mouthpiece New Light of Myanmar newspaper said the prisoners released on Wednesday included inmates whose "moral behaviour and spiritual values" had improved.
The announcement marked the latest in a series of mass amnesties, including the freeing of 3,937 prisoners November 18, 2004, another 5,311 prisoners November 25 and 5,070 on December 12, 2004.
A total of 5,588 were amnestied January 3, 2005 and another 410 on July 5 of the same year.
International human rights groups have criticised the military government for keeping some 2,000 political prisoners locked up, including senior members of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD).
NLD leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aun San Suu Kyi remains under house arrest at her lakeside home here.