Published November 19, 2012
YANGON, Myanmar – Myanmar has set free dozens of political prisoners around the country in an amnesty that coincides with the historic visit of President Barack Obama.
At least 44 political prisoners were among 66 detainees released Monday, including several prominent human rights activists, said former prisoner of conscience Soe Tun.
The amnesty order was announced by state television Sunday. It was the second this week and the latest in a string of prisoner releases since the reformist government of President Thein Sein took office last year.
Myanmar's government has long insisted that all prisoners are criminals and does not acknowledge the existence of political detainees.
However, Thein Sein's administration has made freedom for political prisoners one of the centerpieces of its reform agenda.