Myanmar Releases Over 6000 Prisoners; Many Still Detained
Myanmar, the south Asian country also known as Burma, today released over 6,000 prisoners. Reasons for the release are unknown, but it is known that very few of those released were political prisoners. Those held back included student leaders from Myanmar's 1988 democracy uprising. Many of those prisoners are referred to as the "88 Generation."
Amnesty International called today's releases a "minimum first step", and said the authorities "must immediately and unconditionally release all remaining prisoners of conscience."
A prisoner of conscience is someone who is imprisoned for exercising her or her human rights, such as the right to speech, the right to assemble, or the right to practice religion of one's own choosing. Even though Myanmar released over 6,000 prisoners today, only about 200 of those were political prisoners, or prisoners of conscience, according to the Associated Press. Amnesty International has been hard at work on getting those political prisoners freed.
Those who'd either like to commend the Myanmar government for the move, or put additional pressure on government to release more political prisoners, can do so by sending letters or faxes to the Myanmar Embassy in Washington. Here's the address:
2300 S. Street NW
Washington, DC 20008
At this time, the best way to get into contact with the country and the government is to go through the Embassy. Contact via specific government officials has been shut off entirely.