Australian Government welcomes release of political prisoners in Myanmar

Media release

7 January 2014

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms Julie Bishop, has welcomed Myanmar President Thein Sein’s pardon of political prisoners and activists awaiting trial and their subsequent release over recent days.

Australia has long advocated the release of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Myanmar. According to the Myanmar Government, 354 political prisoners were released in 2013. Australia welcomes ongoing dialogue between the Government and interested parties to clarify cases where the status of prisoners is unclear.

President Thein Sein’s pardon followed a commitment that he made in July last year that there would be no prisoners of conscience in Myanmar by the end of 2013.

This development is an important step for Myanmar. Ms Bishop reiterated Australia’s support for the Myanmar Government’s political and economic reforms.

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