Burma frees 452 (political?) prisoners

Burma announced on Nov. 14 that it has freed 452 prisoners ahead of a visit by US President Barack Obama. Burma’s state-run media reported that the government has released the prisoners on humanitarian grounds and as a goodwill gesture by the nation. However, Burma’s main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) criticized the government’s move, saying that the government has not released any of the estimated 330 political prisoners currently incarcerated in Burma. It is unclear if any of the 452 prisoners released are political ones because the government has not provided details on which prisoners have been freed. Obama is scheduled to visit Burma on Nov. 19.

From Jurist, Nov. 15. Used with permission.

  1. Burma (really?) frees political prisoners
    The government of Burma on Nov. 19 began releasing a number of political prisoners at the same time US President Barack Obama arrived for a historic visit to the former dictatorship. Specifically, 66 prisoners were to be freed in conjunction with the first trip to the country made by any sitting US president. While two-thirds of the prisoners were merely political dissidents, the remaining third was supposedly composed of former military intelligence personnel. The prisoners’ release comes less than a week after Burma announced that it had freed 452 others on humanitarian grounds and as a goodwill gesture by the nation.

    From Jurist, Nov. 19. Used with permission.