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Myanmar releases 87 prisoners, prepares for Pinheiro visit

[JURIST] Myanmar's military junta has announced the release of 87 people held in the wake of the government's crackdown against protesters and political dissidents which began in August. The released prisoners include more than 50 members of the National League for Democracy, the pro-democracy political party led by Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. The announcement follows reports [JURIST report] this week that UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Paulo Sergio Pinheiro [official profile] has been given permission to visit the country in November to investigate alleged human rights abuses [press release].

In August and September the government detained an estimated 3,000 protesters [JURIST report] involved in anti-government demonstrations. According to the government, 10 people were killed by government soldiers who fired shots into nonviolent crowds [JURIST report] at protests in September; dissident groups claim that 200 people have been killed since the crackdown began. The protests only subsided when junta troops effectively locked down Myanmar's major cities. Last week the junta lifted a curfew and a ban on assembly [JURIST report] that was imposed during the protests. Reuters has more.

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