Myanmar has freed some of its most prominent political dissidents as it takes another small step towards democracy.
Among those released were Buddhist monk Shin Gambira and activist Aung Thein.
State TV said more than 600 people are to walk free from jail, without specifying how many are political prisoners.
One human rights group welcomed the move but urged the government to do more.
“We would compare the prisoners’ releases to a race. We’ve run part of the race, and just because you run a very good last lap around the track doesn’t mean that you stop running. We have to make sure that we get to the end of this road, we ensure that all prisoners are released, “ said Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division.
The country formerly known as Burma has held a series of prisoner amnesties over the past year.
In November 2010, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was freed from house arrest.
That same month a military-backed civilian government came to power in Myanmar’s first elections for two decades.