Myanmar frees 73 political prisoners in step toward democracy
NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar, July 23 (UPI) -- Some 73 people were released by Myanmar Tuesday as part of the country's effort to free all political prisoners by the end of the year, officials said.
Myanmar President Thein Sein, speaking in London last week, said all "prisoners of conscience" held in the country's jails would be released by the end of the year as the country transitions into democracy, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners in Myanmar applauded the releases, but said the government still needed to do more.
"If the president wants national reconciliation, he has to release all other prisoners immediately and stop arresting anyone else," said Bo Kyi, the group's joint secretary.
Despite the release, some 80 political prisoners remain locked up, the association said. More than 70 others are facing trial.
Myanmar has freed thousands of political prisoners in the past two years. Human rights groups said whistleblowers who were former government workers are being held as political prisoners and should also be granted amnesty.
- Derek Medina: Florida man posts picture of his dead wife Jennifer Alfonso on Facebook
- 'I know I'm going to die:' Terror of German tourist, 20, who lost her arm in shark attack while snorkeling in Hawaii - but was rescued by fearless high school gym teacher
- War veteran John Wrana, 95, dies after police shoot him with Taser and bean bag rounds
- B For Bel imagines what Disney princesses' Instagram feeds might look like
- Simon Cowell 'expecting a baby with married New York socialite Lauren Silverman'
- Couple faces jail after performing 'lewd, indecent and obscene' sex acts on flight to Las Vegas in front of horrified passengers
- Socialite Lana Scolaro opens up about Robin Thicke bottom-groping incident - revealing 'I knew his hand was on my butt'... and it wasn't their first encounter
- Nicole Baukus: Sobbing wrong-way drunken driver who killed two teenagers after binging on alcohol sentenced to 38 years
- Turkey's PM condemned for comments
- Jana Lutteropp: German tourist who lost arm in Maui, Hawaii shark attack dies
- Catholic school teacher Abigail Marie Simon arrested for having sex with 15-year-old student
- Grant Adamson: The wealthy descendant of Malibu's founders identified as the American tourist killed in Swiss hot air balloon crash that injured his wife and two daughters
- Penn State high jumper, 20, falls to his death from ninth floor balcony just eight months after his 15-year-old brother died
- Monster sinkhole that swallowed Kansas pasture turns tourist attraction... and it's getting bigger
- Police officer picks up tab for groceries a desperate mother tried to STEAL to feed her struggling family
- Death of a Salesman: Police say Herbalife millionaire shot himself
- Father of two children 'kidnapped' after the bodies of their mother and another youngster were found pleads with suspect to turn himself in
- Amy Stiner dies: Pregnant woman and friend accidentally drive down boat ramp into ocean and DROWN minutes after they were rescued while hiking on mountaintop
- 'He was a psycho who tricked us': Hannah Anderson speaks out for the first time since her kidnap ordeal and reveals how 'Uncle Jim' lured her family to his house before kidnapping her and setting fatal blaze
- Dad shoots family, kills himself, daughter in Pennsylvania
- Catholic girls' school teacher admits lesbian affair with student, 17, after plying her with alcohol
- State trooper so disgusted that woman lied and said she was visiting dying father to get out of speeding ticket he tracks her down and arrests her
- Ramana Gadiraju dies: Middle-aged couple on vacation are killed in horror boating crash after their jet-ski hits 59-foot dolphin tour boat 'dead center'
- Police fear Danvers student Philip Chism was 'infatuated' with Colleen Ritzer
|PHOTOS: Plastic Surgery Celebrity||Awkward family photos|
|UPDATED: Faces of Meth||PHOTOS: Celebrities all a-Twitter|
- East Coast braces for Monday morning commute from hell: Winter storm threatens to bring freezing rain and has already caused 50 car pile-up in Pennsylvania
- 'Breakfast with Santa' cheers foster children
- Bend church toy, bake sale helps kids here, abroad
- Thai prime minister dissolves Parliament as protests continue
- Everybody loves Cheese! Weirdest baby names of 2013 are inspired by dairy, zoo animals, and breakfast pastries
- 'Frozen' dominates box office in second week, takes top spot from 'Hunger Games' sequel
- EXCLUSIVE: Paul Walker was once HOMELESS as a student
- EU Parliament to visit Iran without preconditions
- N. Korean media confirm leader's uncle Jang Song Thaek ousted
- Protesters rally against barriers at Laniakea Beach