An American prisoner jailed in Burma has arrived back in the United States after being released by Burmese authorities on Thursday.

Beth Schwanke, international pro-bono counsel for Nyi Nyi Aung, confirmed that he arrived back in Washington D.C. on Friday afternoon (AEDT). Ms. Schwanke said, “We are very happy that he has been released and will shortly be back home with his fiancé in Maryland.”

In a statement released via Freedom Now, Kyaw’s fiancé, Wa Wa Kyaw thanked a number of Congress Members and Senators who lobbied for Nyi Nyi’s release, including Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, and former Presidential candidates Senators John Kerry and John McCain.

Nyi Nyi Aung was originally sentenced to three years jail with hard labour in February 2010 for allegedly possessing a Burmese national identity card, failing to declare currencies and failing to renounce his Burmese citizenship, charges his supporters maintain were false. His fiancé maintained that Nyi Nyi Aung returned to Burma to visit his mother, who was ill.

A pro-democracy activist, Nyi Nyi Aung helped deliver a petition of 680,000 signatures in June 2009 to the then-United Nations Special Adviser Ibrahim Gambari. The petition called for the release of all political prisoners in Burma.