Yangon: Members of Myanmar`s Army-dominated
parliament have called for a sweeping jail amnesty, state
media reported on Saturday, after a UN envoy called for the release
of prisoners of conscience.
A proposal for a general amnesty was raised in the lower
house on Friday, the New Light of Myanmar reported.
"They firmly hope that the president would make (an)
assessment and release an order of amnesty," the newspaper
said, without giving further details on who would be included.
The plight of around 2,000 political prisoners, many of
whom are serving double-digit jail terms, is a key concern of
the international community, along with other human rights
abuses and democratic reforms.
It is the first time that serving military members of
parliament have taken part in a discussion of a general
amnesty since a nominally civilian government took over in
March. A quarter of seats are reserved for the army.
The regime, which came to power after controversial
November elections, appears keen to improve its image and
recently held the first talks between democracy icon Aung San
Suu Kyi and President Thein Sein, a former general.
But the UN special rapporteur on human rights in
Myanmar, Tomas Ojea Quintana, said serious concerns remained
as he concluded a visit to the country on Thursday.
The UN envoy, who visited Yangon`s notorious Insein jail
during his five day trip, voiced fears over allegations of
torture during detention and the use of prisoners as porters
for the military.
"Of key concern to me and the international community is
the continuing detention of a large number of prisoners of
conscience," Quintana said.