Ban urges Myanmar to free all political prisoners

Ban urges Myanmar to free all political prisoners
# 14 October 2011 04:18 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed Myanmar’s decision to pardon about 200 political prisoners, but called for the "early release" of the roughly 2,000 behind bars, APA reports quoting AFP.

The fate of political prisoners in Myanmar is a key concern of western governments that have imposed sanctions on the isolated nation, and the regime is facing growing calls to free the remaining political prisoners after the much-anticipated amnesty left most key dissidents behind bars.

Ban "welcomes the release, thus far, of a number of prominent figures," his spokesman Martin Nesirky said on Thursday. "He hopes the government will ensure that this process results in the early release of all political prisoners."

Renowned satirist Zarganar was among those released. The regime was also believed to have freed General Hso Ten, a prominent ethnic Shan leader sentenced to 106 years for charges including high treason.

But many leading dissidents, including key figures involved in a failed 1988 student-led uprising, as well as journalists, monks and lawyers, remained locked up.

The amnesty came amid heightened hopes of reform following a series of moves by President Thein Sein, a former general, including talks with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who spent most of the past two decades locked up by the junta.
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