Chinese loggers among thousands of prisoners released in Myanmar amnesty | News | DW | 30.07.2015
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Chinese loggers among thousands of prisoners released in Myanmar amnesty

In the latest in a series of amnesties, Myanmar has ordered the release of 6,966 prisoners. Among them were 210 foreigners, including 155 Chinese nationals jailed last week for illegally logging in neighboring Myanmar.

The order on Thursday came on the instruction of Manmar President Thein Sein. According to a statement on Myanmar's Ministry of Information website, the amnesty was announced after the prisoners were deemed to have been "well disciplined."

The release of 155 Chinese detainees could potentially appease Myanmar's neighbor who last week filed a diplomatic protest over the verdict of their citizens.

All but two of the Chinese prisoners were sentenced to life imprisonment for illegally logging in northern Myanmar, close to the Chinese-Myanmarese border. The remaining pair each received a 10-year jail sentence.

The decision sparked a flood outrage across Chinese state media and a plea from Beijing to Naypyidaw to be "reasonable."

It was not immediately clear whether any political prisoners were among the thousands of released prisoners.

Thursday's pardon was the just the latest of several amnesties ordered by Sein's reformist, quasi-civilian government since he was elected in 2011 - ending five decades of military rule.

ksb/jil (AFP, Reuters)

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