Myanmar to free more political prisoners

Monday’s amnesty to coincide with speech by Aung San Suu Kyi to mark first anniverary of her release from house arrest – Published on Al Jazeera, November 13, 2011.

Watch the video, 2.03 minutes: Myanmar is to declare a new prisoner amnesty that will include political detainees, government officials in the military-dominated country say. “Some prisoners will be released on Monday,” an official who did not wish to be named told the AFP news agency on Sunday, without giving further details.  

Another official added that “some prisoners of conscience from prisons outside Yangon” would be among those freed … //

… Critics surprised:

Suu Kyi was released a few days after last November’s poll, which was widely condemned by the West and marred by claims of cheating. Even so, the new army-backed government has surprised critics with a series of reformist moves. These include a recent amendment to a law on political parties, endorsed by Thein Sein, Myanmar’s president, which removed the condition that all parties must agree to “preserve” the country’s 2008 constitution, according to state media.

A decision to re-register the NLD is widely expected after 100 senior party members gathered in Yangon on Friday to discuss the move. Nyan Win did not comment on which constituency Suu Kyi would stand in, or what kind of position she expected, but party sources said she would contest in a Yangon township. While Myanmar is now ruled by a nominally civilian government, its ranks are filled with former generals.

Suu Kyi has strongly criticised the constitution, part of what the government called its “road map to democracy”. She is expected to hold a press conference on Monday to mark the first anniversary of her release.

Real changes: … (full text).


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