September 30, 2011

Updated 10 January 2012

Burma Briefing No. 16

As speculation mounts that the government in Burma is about to release some political prisoners, this briefing looks at the history of political prisoner releases in Burma.

The mass release of prisoners is a regular event in Burma and happens every year or two. Hundreds or even thousands of prisoners are released under amnesties and some political prisoners are usually included in those released. While the release of any political prisoners is very welcome, in the past, these releases have never been an indicator that democratic change is on the way.

This briefing examines benchmarks for progress that should be met if the release of political prisoners is to signify the possibility that real change is on the way.

Updated 10 January 2012 Burma Briefing No. 16 As speculation mounts that the government in Burma is about to release some political prisoners, this briefing looks at the history of political prisoner releases in Burma. The mass release of prisoners is a regular event in Burma and happens every year or two. Hundreds or even thousands of prisoners are released under amnesties and some political prisoners are usually included in those released. While the release of any political prisoners is very welcome, in the past, these releases have never been an indicator that democratic change is on the way. This briefing examines benchmarks for progress that should be met if the release of political prisoners is to signify the possibility that real change is on the way.

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