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Myanmar To Free 46 Prisoners

Myanmar's state media say a total of 46 prisoners will be freed to aid "national reconciliation."

A report in the "New Light of Myanmar" newspaper said 37 men and nine women would be set free starting on July 3.

According to democracy activists, about 20 of those receiving amnesty are prisoners of conscience.

In addition to the 46 Myanmar nationals, state media said the authorities are also releasing 34 foreigners under the amnesty.

No details were available on the foreigners' nationalities or their convictions.

Human Rights Watch says at least 659 political prisoners have been freed over the past year.

But rights groups say between 200 and 600 remain in jail.

The latest announcement came shortly after a Myanmar minister pledged further amnesties for jailed dissidents during a high-profile European tour by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi last month.

Suu Kyi has welcomed the amnesty and called for the release of the hundreds of political prisoners still behind bars.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP