Myanmar pardons over 500 prisoners, 83 Thais released

Featured - September 18th, 2012
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Myanmar has released 83 Thai prisoners who had been charged with illegal entry, Bangkok Post reports.

According to Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdi, the illegal migrants, set free on Tuesday, were among more than 500 prisoners, including political detainees and foreigners, pardoned by the Myanmar government on Monday. Thai diplomats arranged to deport the prisoners back to Thailand, where they are expected to return this afternoon. The Thais were all convicted of illegal entry in early July.

Myanmar granted amnesties to over 500 prisoners as part of reforms in the previously military junta-ruled country. About 60 political prisoners were released Monday. State-run media claimed that the pardons are aimed at “bolstering the stability of the state and eternal peace, by respecting humanitarian grounds … and also to have friendship and goodwill in relations with neighbouring countries”. This comes ahead of visits to the US by Myanmar’s leaders, particularly by Aung San Suu Kyi and President Thein Sein.