political prisoners

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Castro Opens Up in Rare Cuba Presser

Cuban president answers question about political prisoners

(Newser) - President Obama made history in Cuba today by getting Cuban President Raul Castro to field questions from reporters—inspiring an exchange over democracy and human rights that apparently left Cubans stunned. The White House negotiated to the last minute to make the press conference happen, the AP reports. Among the... More »

Cuba Frees 53 Political Prisoners

The deal is part of agreement between US and Castro

(Newser) - Cuba has completed the release of 53 political prisoners that was part of last month's historic deal between the United States and Cuba, the US said today. The prisoners had been on a list of opposition figures whose release was sought as part of the US agreement last month... More »

With Eye on Obama Visit, Burma Frees 452 Prisoners

But activists criticized move

(Newser) - Burma ordered 452 prisoners freed today in an apparent goodwill gesture ahead of a historic visit by President Barack Obama—but activists criticized the move for failing to focus on hundreds of political detainees. It was not immediately clear if any political prisoners were among those granted freedom, prompting rights... More »

N. Korea to Free Prisoners for Kim Jong Il's Birthday

Likely another move to shore up support for Kim Jong Un

(Newser) - North Korea has announced a round of special pardons for some of its prisoners in honor of what would have been Kim Jong Il's 70th birthday next month, in what the Telegraph sees as an attempt to boost the popularity of Dear Leader's heir, Kim Jong Un. The... More »

Activists: Syria Is Tricking Monitors

Even as Syria releases another 500 prisoners

(Newser) - Arab League observers in Syria have been claiming as their chief triumph the regime's evacuation of its troops from protest-prone cities. But activists say that hasn’t actually happened—the regime is just using some cheap tricks to make it look like it has, Reuters reports. Activists say the... More »

Burma's Thaw Now Extends to Media

Journalists can criticize gov't, but still many limits

(Newser) - The political thawing of tropical Burma seems to be continuing, as the second-least-free country in the world for journalism (after North Korea) has begun to relax its tight controls over the media. As the Wall Street Journal reports, pictures of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi have appeared in newspapers... More »

Burma Releases 155 Political Prisoners

Prominent activist Zarganar among them

(Newser) - Burma today began releasing the 6,300 prisoners who will be granted amnesty, but so far the number of political detainees released does not come close to the estimated 2,000 who are in jail. The Telegraph puts the number of political prisoners released at 120, while the AP reports... More »

Burma Grants Amnesty to 6,300

Democracy advocates hope the group includes political prisoners

(Newser) - The ice might be breaking in Burma: The nation's rulers today announced that they will grant amnesty to 6,359 prisoners beginning tomorrow, sparking hopes among democracy advocates that the 2,000-some political prisoners being held will be among them. The government didn't explicitly say political prisoners would... More »

N. Korea's Prison Camps Burgeoning, Now Hold 200K

Amnesty International points to satellite images, witness testimony

(Newser) - Satellite images of North Korea's political prisoner camps show they are getting bigger, says Amnesty International. (See the photos here .) The rights group compared images of four camps from 2001 and found a "significant increase in the scale of the camps," reports the BBC . Amnesty estimates... More »

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