State group urges Burma to set free political prisoners

A new government-appointed human rights body in Burma, also known as Myanmar, has urged the country’s president on Tuesday to release “prisoners of conscience” in an open letter published in state media, the strongest sign yet the reclusive state may soon free political prisoners.

The United States and European Union have made the release of an estimated 2 100 political prisoners a key condition before they would consider lifting sanctions imposed in response to human rights abuses.

Prisoners who did not pose “a threat to the stability of state and public tranquility” should be released, wrote Win Mra, chairperson of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, in the open letter.

“For these reasons, the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission humbly requests the President, as a reflection of his magnanimity, to grant amnesty to those prisoners and release them from the prison,” the letter ended. — AFP

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