Julie Bishop.
Julie Bishop. Contributed

Julie Bishop welcomes release of Myanmar political prisoners

FOREIGN Minister Julie Bishop has welcomed a presidential pardon of Myanmar's political prisoners, after the country released more than 350 such prisoners last year.  

President Thein Sein last week pardoned a raft of political prisoners, reducing some life sentences to 40 years and commuting death sentences.  

Ms Bishop on Tuesday welcomed the decision, in a statement saying Australia had long advocated for the release of political prisoners in Myanmar's prisons.  

The presidential pardon followed a commitment made last year by the Myanmar President that there would be no "prisoners of conscience" in the country by the end of last year.  

Ms Bishop said the latest pardons were another important step for the country, and welcomed "ongoing dialogue" to clarify the status of prisoners where it was "unclear".  

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