Rangoon – Burmese authorities will release 11,000 prisoners before the November 7 general election, but it was unclear whether any political prisoners would be among them, reports said Sunday.
The Department of Corrections is planning to reduce the sentences of more than 3,000 prisoners, while 8,000 others are expected to complete their sentences before the election, the Myanmar Times reported.
“They will be able to vote on November 7. That’s the instruction from the Union Election Commission,” a department official, who asked to remain anonymous, told the English-language weekly.
The department did not disclose the names of the prisoners to be released, so it was not clear whether some 3,200 political prisoners in Myanmar jails would be freed.
There are currently more than 50,000 inmates of Burma’s 43 prisons and 100 labour camps.
Burma will hold its first general election in 20 years on November 7. But election rules have effectively blocked the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), from contesting the polls.
NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi is currently serving an 18-month term of house arrest, which will expire on November 13.//