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Myanmar releases dozens of political prisoners

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Myanmar's government started releasing dozens of political prisoners on Tuesday, according to a member of the National Economic and Social Advisory Council.

A total of 73 such prisoners are being released from various prisons across the country under the amnesty of President Thein Sein, Hla Maung Shwe told Kyodo News.

The move comes after Thein Sein pledged during his recent visit to Europe to release all political prisoners within this year.

In a July 16 speech at the Chatham House think tank in London, Thein Sein said, "I guarantee to you that by the end of this year there will be no prisoners of conscience in Myanmar."

Activists in Yangon said they had confirmed, as of midday Tuesday, the release of 37 prisoners, including six from Insein prison located north of Yangon.

Hla Maung Shwe said that with the completion of Tuesday's releases, the number of remaining political prisoners in the country will be well less than 100.

Last week, a member of the Committee to Scrutinize Remaining Political Prisoners, led by a President Office minister and formed with a mixture of former political prisoners and government officials, said a list of 155 candidates for release had been submitted to the presidential office for consideration.

==Kyodo

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/130723/myanmar-releases-dozens-political-prisoners