Myanmar’s government announced that it would release more than 5,000 prisoner for their protest against the February coup.
After military leaders took power, thousands were held hostage in bloody protests.
Min Aung Hlaing (the leader of the coup) said the 5,636 inmates would be released to humanitarian causes.
This comes just days after the general was expelled from an annual summit for regional leaders. He claimed that the military hadn’t done enough to stop the chaos.
Asean agreed to send a representative non-political from Myanmar as an alternative to Gen Min Aung Hlaing.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners reports that at least 1178 people were murdered and 7355 were arrested, charged, or sentenced in a crackdown upon dissent which followed the ousting of Aung San Suu Kyi from power.
General Thadingyut said that the prisoners would be released later in October to celebrate the Buddhist holiday Thadingyut.
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He said that they were participating in violent protests for many reasons.
The pardon will be granted to the appropriate persons who are serving time or face trial. [for]Thadingyut is a festival.
On television, the chief of the junta insisted that military leaders had committed themselves to the promotion and preservation of democracy and peace.
According to him, his government has a five-stage strategy for returning democracy.
More than 2 000 anti-coup demonstrators were detained by authorities in July.
Officially, the prisoner’s release was to celebrate a full moon festival. But few people will believe that.
This concession is Myanmar’s biggest since the eight month period that they took power. It is not a coincidence it was done right after the humiliating diplomatic embarrassment of being banned from the largest summit in the region by Asean. This group has never taken so strong an action against any member.
1300 people have been convicted and are now due to be released. An additional 4,300 people are currently being held in prison awaiting trial. They were all arrested and charged with opposition to the coup.
However, they do not appear to be Aung San Suu Kyi’s government which the military overthrew in February.
Gen Min Aung Hlaing claims, despite little evidence, that the November election won by Ms Suukyi’s National League for Democracy was fraudulent.
Gen Min Aung Hlaing stated that he was open to accepting some Asean’s demands. It refers to Asean’s belief that an envoy from the organization cannot travel to Myanmar to mediate unless Ms Suu Kyi can be present. A request that is being refused by the military.
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