Myanmar: Annan welcomes release of over 100 political prisoners

21 November 2002

Welcoming the release of more than 100 political prisoners in Myanmar, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said he hoped the move would help jumpstart the country's national reconciliation talks.

A statement issued by a UN spokesman in New York said the Secretary-General welcomed the release of political prisoners that began in Yangon on Thursday following a statement by the Government that 115 detainees, including many members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), would be freed.

"The Secretary-General hopes this first large-scale release will provide fresh momentum for the national reconciliation process in that country," he said.

During his visit last week, the Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Myanmar, Razali Ismail, strongly urged the Government to release political prisoners in a large number at one time so that more than 200 political detainees would have been released by the end of 2002.


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