Junta releases political prisoners over international pressure, elections: Analysts

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Yangon, November (19)

The coup military council released some political prisoners in response to international pressure and in preparation for the upcoming elections, the political analysts said.

The Military Council has announced the release of a total of more than 5,700 prisoners serving sentences from various prisons on November 17, the National Victory Day, as a humanitarian gesture.

The military council granted amnesty to a total of more than 700 political prisoners nationwide, including 618 male political prisoners and 94 female political prisoners.

In order to preserve diplomatic ties between the two nations, foreigners including Mr. Sean Turnell, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s economic advisor; Vicky Bowman, a former British ambassador; and Toru Kubota, a Japanese documentary filmmaker, were pardoned and deported.

In addition, the spokesperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD), Dr. Myo Nyunt, lawyer U Kyaw Ho, and 88 generation student leader and political activist U Mya Aye were released from prison.

The military group held political prisoners as hostages with the intention of using them if necessary, and released them due to international pressure, according to an official from the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners.

The military council has warned that those who have been pardoned and released will serve the new punishment together with the remaining punishment to which he or she was sentenced this time if more offenses is committed.

Political analyst U Than Soe Naing claimed that the military council showed flexibility during a period of intense international pressure since it was unable to implement the five-point ASEAN consensus.

National Unity Government (NUG) Acting President Duwa Lashi La noted that the military council granted amnesty to the prisoners, but on the other hand, they are still inhumanely carrying out airstrikes, arresting and killing innocent civilians in various parts of the country.

According to an ethnic affairs analyst, the military council released political prisoners in order to gain political advantages in the upcoming 2023 election.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) announced on November 8 that it will not recognize the election because the military councilor is trying to hold a sham election in order to gain political legitimacy and international recognition.

The National Unity Government (NUG) has set 2023 as the decisive year for the revolution and said that it will definitely revoke the election of the military regime.

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