Burma: Thousands of prisoners to be released before election

Unconfirmed reports suggest the ruling military junta in Burma plans to release of thousands of prisoners early to allow them to vote in November’s elections. The total number of detainees set for release is reportedly 11,000. It is not yet clear whether any of Burma’s 2,200 political prisoners will be freed. Detained pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been banned from running in the elections — the first in the country for 20 years — and there are fears that the voting process will be heavily controlled by the government. Under the new constitution some 25% of seats are guaranteed for the military.