Only 8% of political prisoners released under junta amnesty during 22-month military coup

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Yangon, December (4)

There have been eight amnesties nationwide in the 22 months following the military takeover, yet only 8% of political prisoners were granted amnesty, the ISP-Myanmar reported.

Over 23,300 detainees were released on February 12, shortly after the military takeover, followed by over 23,400 in April, more than 2,290 in June, and more than 5,630 in October.

On February 12 this year, more than 800 prisoners were released, five in March, 1,600 in April, and 5,770 on November 17.

But just 5,000 political prisoners are included in the total of more than 62,700 released inmates, reported the ISP-Myanmar citing data from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) and independent media.

One source from AAPP explained, “The military group has a policy of releasing many other criminal inmates and few political prisoners. They are unwilling to release all those who participated in the revolution against the regime. Only a small number of political prisoners are released to reduce international pressure. These are the methods that military regimes have used throughout their history.”

Those who have been granted parole are guaranteed to serve the rest of their sentences if they commit the offense again.

The National Unity Government (NUG) Acting President, Duwa La Shila said on November 17 that although the Military Council announced the amnesty, the arrests and killings of innocent civilians and the use of excessive force and bombing attacks are still being perpetrated inhumanely on a daily basis.

During the 22-month military coup, 2,553 democracy activists and civilians were killed, and over 16,000 people were arrested, according to AAPP.

News-Than Lwin Times

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