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Burma Dissidents Among Thousands Freed in Latest Prisoner Release - 2004-12-13


Two top Burmese dissidents have been freed in the government's latest mass release of prisoners.

Senior Democracy Party members U Htwe Myint and U Thu Wai were among more than five thousand prisoners officials began releasing from Rangoon's Insein prison Sunday.

Both men are in their 70's, and have been jailed since 1995 for distributing anti-government pamphlets. No other political figures have been identified so far in this latest round of releases.

Since mid-November, the regime has freed more than 14-thousand people. Opposition leaders say all but several dozen have been petty criminals.

The government said the prisoners had been improperly detained at the direction of the National Intelligence Bureau, which the military abolished last October in a shake-up.

Information for this report is priovided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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