1. The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission had made appeals to the President that at a time when the Republic of the Union of Myanmar is building a democratic nation and striving for national unity, those among prisoners who were in various prisons for contravening existing laws, who do not pose a threat to national security, public peace and tranquility and national interest, be given amnesty to enable them to take part in whatever way they can in nation-building tasks.
2. Subsequently, the President had granted amnesty to 6359 prisoners on 11 October 2011 and 2 January 2012, through a presidential amnesty order reduced the sentences of the prisoners in various prisons. Under an amnesty order of the President dated 12 January 2012, 651 prisoners were again released. The Commission welcomes the release of prisoners and greatly appreciates the magnanimity shown by the President.
3. The Commission is gratified that among the 651 prisoners released on 13 January 2012, prisoners whose release had been advocated by the Secretary General of the United Nations and some western countries were included as well. The Commission feels that the release of those prisoners fulfils the expectations by the Secretary General of the United Nations and some western countries.
4. In the interest of enduring peace and national unity, to enable an inclusive political process and on grounds of humanitarian consideration, the President had granted amnesty to the prisoners. In view of the President’s magnanimity, the Commission strongly urges those who have been released to peacefully take part in whatever way they can in building national unity and a democratic State.
Myanmar National Human Rights Commission
14 January 2012