Myanmar Frees Political Dissidents Ahead of President Thein Sein’s Visit to the United States on September 24

Myanmar (also known as Burma) has freed over 500 prisoners according to a report from the capital Yangon. Among these 500 prisoners, it is hoped many of Myanmar’s incarcerated political prisoners will be released as well as the once repressive regime seeks to bolster its reformist credentials ahead of a visit by current President Thein Sein to New York City to address the United Nations General Assembly.

Naing Naing, a representative from Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, was hopeful that among the 500 released prisoners some of Myanmar’s 424 political prisoners were released but he was hesitant to confirm the exact number of released political prisoners.

Myanmar has made a series of reforms toward improving its international reputation and its reputation as an oppressive regime that disregards human rights. The election of freedom fighter and current MP Aung San Suu Kyi changed the regime’s perception in the eyes of many western nations and has resulted in the lessening of economic sanctions.

Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in the United States this week to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, the United States’ highest civilian honor. This was in recognition for her work as a force for freedom and democracy in Myanmar where she spent many years under house arrest for resisting the military junta in charge of her country.


[The New York Times]

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