October 12th, 2011
01:44 AM ET

Myanmar begins prisoner release

Myanmar has begun the release of what it said will eventually be more than 6,300 prisoners under a mass amnesty.

Among the inmates freed by noon Wednesday, 70 were political detainees, a rights group said.

The Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said it obtained its information from staff members and political activists inside Myanmar.

Maj-Gen Hso Ten who was sentenced to 105 years in prison on sedition charges in 2005, was among those released, the group said.

Also released were some members of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party, the party said

Party spokesman Nyan Win said the NLD was expecting more releases later Wednesday.

About 200 NLD members are in prison, he said.

Myanmar's mass amnesty is one in a series of recent moves that could help the isolated nation normalize relations with Western nations including the United States.

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