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Burma To Release Nearly 4,000 Prisoners - 2004-11-18


Burma's military government says it is releasing nearly 4,000 prisoners who had been wrongly jailed.

State radio said 3,937 prisoners would be released starting today (Thursday) because they were improperly charged by the recently disbanded National Intelligence Bureau.

The bureau was headed by former Prime Minister General Khin Nyunt, who was ousted last month and placed under house arrest. He was accused of investigating military commanders and threatening the unity of the armed forces.

It is not known if any of Burma's estimated 1,300 political prisoners will be among those freed.

The announced release comes two weeks before a major summit of the 10-nation Association of South East Asian Nations, where Burma is expected to be questioned about its democratic reforms.

Information for this story is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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