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Myanmar Frees Dozens Of Dissidents, But Many Still In Jail

Myanmar has freed dozens of political prisoners, including several prominent dissidents, but many more remain behind bars.

The release is part of an amnesty for some 6,300 inmates announced this week by the authorities.

A spokesman for the opposition National League for Democracy said at least 120 political prisoners were freed, but that as many as 2,000 remain behind bars.

Today's release is seen as a possible sign of change under a new civilian government.

In March, Myanmar's military junta handed over power to civilians following the country's first elections in two decades, which at the time were denounced as a sham to cement authoritarian rule behind a democratic facade.

The United States, Europe, and Australia have said freeing all political prisoners is essential to even considering lifting sanctions imposed on Myanmar.

compiled from agency reports