Burma

Burma Pardons More Than 500 Prisoners

Many political detainees and foreigners

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Burma's government on Monday pardoned more than 500 prisoners, among them political detainees and some foreigners.

An official announcement described the move as an effort to "bring tranquillity and perpetual peace" to the country. The move comes a week before Burmese President Thein Sein is set to travel to the United States to attend the United Nations General Assembly session.

It also comes on the same day the U.S.-based group Human Rights Watch criticized Burma for its failure to release all remaining political prisoners and for imposing restrictions on those who have been freed.