The military junta in Rangoon has released one of Burma's best known and longest-imprisoned political dissidents, Min Ko Naing, who led a student pro-democracy movement in the late 1980s.
He was included in a mass release of thousands of prisoners, several of whom are believed to be political activists.
The junta announced Thursday that nearly 4,000 prisoners were being freed because they may have been imprisoned wrongfully by the National Intelligence Bureau, which was recently disbanded.
There is no indication that the prisoner release will affect Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's best-known democracy activist, who has been detained under house arrest for 18 months.
There have been reports that journalist and opposition leader Win Tin would be freed after 15 years in jail, but he was not among those released on Friday. However, the journalists' group Reporters Without Borders says he is on a list of those to be freed.
Information for this story is provided by Reuters and AP.