Burma to establish committee to review political prisoners' detention

London, Feb. 8 (ANI): Burma will be establishing a committee to review the detention of its remaining political prisoners.

The government has previously referred to all detainees as criminals, but it now said that it will define which can be classified as prisoners of conscience and then work towards their release.

It said that the committee will include officials and representatives of political parties and civil society, the BBC reports.

A presidential spokesman said the release of prisoners was key to national reconciliation.

Ye Htut said that first 'it is important to decide who will be designated as political prisoners'.

According to the report, a spokesman for the rights group Former Political Prisoners, Kyaw Hlaing, welcomed the government's recognition of the jailed dissidents and said he hoped they would be released by the middle of the year.

He added that about 240 were still being held.

The government promised the review last year ahead of a visit by US President Barack Obama, the report said.

It has already freed thousands of prisoners in a series of amnesties, including several hundred political prisoners in January 2012. Among them were some of the country's most prominent dissidents, it added. (ANI)