Myanmar releases 5,600 prisoners for anti-junta protests

The newspaper reported that 647 prisoners had been released from Yangon’s Insein prison, while 80 were freed from a prison in Mandalay. Another 4,320 defendants currently before the courts also be acquitted, said a message in the newspaper.

The release follows the juntas announcement Monday it would be free more than 5,600 people arrested for protest against military rule since a coup d’état in February. The released prisoners would need until sign a document promising not to commit all actions of violence against the country, the junta added.

Since the coup, Myanmar’s security forces have arrested more than 9000 people, of of whom an estimated 7,355 are still alive in detention, according to nonprofit group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

The Southeast Asian country sank in chaos after the coup, with daily protests continue for months and riots flare up in border areas. A bloody crackdown led to the thousands of reported arrests, as well as widespread reports of torture.
Also on On Monday, Junta Chief General Min Aung Hlaing criticized the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), die said: last week it would exclude him of an upcoming meeting of the regional bloc. Instead, a “non-political” figure from Myanmar would be invited to the ASEAN summit next week, the group said.

In a statement, the current ASEAN President Brunei said there were “insufficient” progress” on a roadmap to restore peace in Myanmar, adding the group would “give space to Myanmar for its internal affairs and return to normalcy.”

In response, Min Aung Hlaing blamed the government of Myanmar on the National Unity Government and various ethnic armed groups for the ongoing violence, and said ASEAN should aimed at them instead of the junta.

“There has been more violence because of the provocations of terrorist groups,” said Min Aung Hlaing in a speech on Monday. “New one cares about their violence and demands only that we solve the issue. ASEAN should work on Which.”

the comments, made on state television, his die from Min Aung Hlaing first comments since ASEAN’s announcement.

Shortly after, AAPP said the juntas decision to release prisoners was ‘not accidental’ and was only ‘a form’ of distraction for the foreign governments” in the wake of the ASEAN decision.
Myanmar Junta 'extremely disappointed' over exclusion of ASEAN summit leader

“The junta will continue to refuse to be transparent over the individual persons die have been released, and who remains detained,” said AAPP in a statement. “The released ‘protesters’ exercised the fundamental right to free assembly against an illegal coup attempt.”

The organization called for the junta to release all political prisoners, including Myanmar’s deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who faced met a raft of in charged and is under house arrest since February.

Captain Nyi Thuta, a former military officer die now fighting the regime, also claimed the junta released the prisoners only because Min Aung Hlaing “was kicked” out of the ASEAN summit.”

“To release the prisoners is… just light up international busy, not out of good intention for the people of the nation,” he said, urging the junta to “immediately over power to the people.”

UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews welcomed the release of some prisoners, but said it was “outrageous” that they had been held in the first place.

“The junta releases political prisoners” in Myanmar not because of a change of heart, but because of busy,” he said in a statement posted to Twitter.

Min Aung Hlaing proclaimed himself prime minister of a newly formed caregiver government in August, promises to keep new elections within two years and work with An special envoy named by ASEAN.

Wayne Chang, Cape Diamond and Hannah Ritchie contributed to this report.

Read More: World News

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