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MYANMAR: GOVERNMENT GRANTED AMNESTY TO 651 MORE PRISONERS, INCLUDING 302 POLITICAL PRISONERS

January 12, 2012: the Myanmar government granted amnesty to 651 more prisoners, including 302 political prisoners.
The amnesty, the fourth granted to the prisoners in the country since the new government assumed office on 30 March 2011, is also a follow-up of the 6,656 prisoners who were freed and 38,964 got clemency under amnesty order of the president on 2 January 2012, when death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment and prisoners serving more than 30 years had their sentences cut to 30 years, while prisoners serving 20-30 years had their terms reduced to 20 years, and those with less than 20 years had their sentences cut by one-fourth.
Under the first two amnesty orders during last year, the government had respectively freed 14,758 and 6,359 prisoners in May and October totalling 21,117 in the year.
The latest amnesty was granted as "part of the national reconciliation process", Ye Htut, a spokesman for Myanmar's Ministry of Information, said. "This is a courageous step and a further confirmation that the reform course chosen by the government of Burma-Myanmar continues," said Catherine Ashton, high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy.
"The release of such a large number of political prisoners demonstrates the government's will to solve political problems through political means," said Win Tin, a senior member of Aung San Suu Kyi's party who had spent 19 years in prison but was released in a 2008 amnesty. (Sources: AP, Xinhua, Bloomberg.com, 12-13/01/2012)

SUDAN: 8 DARFURIANS RECEIVE DEATH SENTENCE AFTER RAPING GIRL IN KASS
SOMALIA: POLICE EXECUTE KILLER IN MOGADISHU
ALGERIA: FUGITIVE QAEDA CHIEF SENTENCED TO DEATH
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: SHARP INCREASE IN DEATH PENALTY IN IRAN
T&T: GOVT WORKING TO IMPLEMENT DEATH PENALTY – PM
TUNISIA: HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST PRESIDENT TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY?
NIGERIA: MAN GETS DEATH SENTENCE FOR ARMED ROBBERY
PAKISTAN: TWO GET DEATH SENTENCE
IRAQ OKAYS DEATH FOR 2009 BAGHDAD BOMBINGS CONVICTS
EGYPT: DEATH SENTENCE FOR MAN CHARGED WITH KILLING SALAFI SHEIKH AND WIFE
IRAN: MAN HANGED PUBLICLY IN KERMAN
WASHINGTON, DC (USA): 14 MEMBERS OF THE ABOLITIONIST ACTION COMMITTEE ARRESTED
INDIA: DEATH SENTENCE TO FIVE DANDUPALYA GANG MEMBERS
UAE: TWO EMIRATIS GET DEATH FOR KILLING HOUSEMAID
COUNCIL OF EUROPE: MURDER SUSPECTS LOSE APPEAL AGAINST EXTRADITION TO US
DELAWARE (USA): GOVERNOR COMMUTES DEATH SENTENCE TO LIFE IN PRISON
PAKISTAN: CHILDREN ON DEATH ROW
IRAN: DEATH SENTENCE UPHELD TO IRANIAN WEB DESIGNER
PALESTINE: SECOND DEATH SENTENCE IN 2012 ISSUED IN GAZA
IRAN: KURDISH ACTIVISTS SENTENCED TO DEATH
JAPAN: GROUP ASKS NEW JUSTICE MINISTER NOT TO ISSUE EXECUTION ORDERS
IRAN: 12 HANGINGS IN SHIRAZ
SAUDI ARABIA: 'SUICIDAL' FILIPINO SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING THREE
PORTUGAL: EXTRADITION TREATY WITH INDIA VIOLATED IN ABU SALEM'S CASE
INDONESIA: TWO MIGRANT WORKERS DODGE DEATH ROW IN SAUDI ARABIA
TUNISIA: AMNESTY TO THOUSANDS ON BEN ALI OUSTER ANNIVERSARY
UNITED NATIONS: BAN KI-MOON, NO DEATH PENALTY FOR MUBARAK
PORTUGAL: US ASKS TO REVIEW AMERICAN FUGITIVE CASE
SOUTH KOREA: MARINE CORPORAL SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING FOUR FELLOWS
JAPAN: NEW JUSTICE MINISTER HINTS AT RESUMPTION OF EXECUTIONS

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