Myanmar president grants amnesty to 8,500 prisoners

Myanmar President Win Myint has granted amnesty to more than 8,500 prisoners, reportedly including at least three dozen political prisoners.

The amnesty, announced Monday, coincided with Myanmar's traditional New Year. It was granted to 8,490 Myanmar citizens and 51 foreigners. A statement from presidential spokesman Zaw Thay said those released included the aged, those in ill health, and drug offenders. None was individually named.

It also said 36 of those to be freed had been listed as political prisoners by the independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

The amnesty appeared to cover only prisoners who had already been convicted of crimes, so it was unlikely that two Reuters reporters, Wa Lone and Yaw Soe Oo, currently facing trial for possessing secret official documents, would be freed.