Myanmar frees 69 political prisoners: officials

  • AFP, Yangon, Myanmar
  • Updated: Nov 15, 2013 11:03 IST

Myanmar on Friday said it had released dozens of detained activists as the fast-changing former pariah state hosts top-level international visitors, including from the European Union.

Some 69 inmates were freed, the latest in a series of releases that have been seen internationally as a key marker of the country's emergence from military rule.

"The committee for scrutinising the status of remaining political prisoners will continue working to grant amnesty to all remaining political prisoners before the end of December 2013," a statement from the president's office said.

The announcement comes as Myanmar hosts a slew of international delegations.

Reformist President Thein Sein hosted EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Thursday as part of a wide-ranging European mission to the country.

He also met former US president Bill Clinton, who is in Myanmar on behalf of his foundation, while former British prime minister Tony Blair is also in the country.

Thein Sein, who has won international praise and the removal of most Western sanctions for his reforms, announced during his first visit to London in July that there would be "no prisoners of conscience in Myanmar" by the end of the year.

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