Myanmar to release 6,500 prisoners in amnesty on Tuesday: president

FILE PHOTO: Myanmar's President Win Myint arrives at Tribhuvan International Airport to attend the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit in Kathmandu, Nepal August 28, 2018. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar will release 6,520 prisoners in an amnesty on Tuesday, the president’s office said in a statement.

President Win Myint pardoned thousands of prisoners in two mass amnesties last month. It is customary in Myanmar for authorities to free prisoners around the time of the traditional New Year, which began on April 17.

It was not clear whether two jailed Reuters reporters were among the prisoners scheduled to be released.

The two Reuters reporters, Wa Lone, 33, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 29, were convicted in September of breaking the Official Secrets Act and sentenced to seven years in jail, in a case that raised questions about Myanmar’s progress toward democracy and sparked an outcry from diplomats and human rights advocates.

Reporting by Thu Thu Aung and Shoon Naing; Editing by Neil Fullick, Robert Birsel