Mawlamyaing, 5 January
The Military Council released over 670 men and women serving sentences in prisons and detention centres in Mon State under a pardon, but only 31 political prisoners included, as reported by sources closely connected to the prison community.
On the morning of January 4th, the Military Council declared the pardoning of a cumulative total of 9652 individuals, both men and women, who were incarcerated in prisons and detention centers throughout the country.
Pardoned prisoners are released under the condition that any recurrence of the same offense will result in serving the original remaining sentence along with additional penalties.
Breaking down the total of 350 individuals were released: from Mawlamyine prison, 93 from Thaton prison, 103 from Kyaikmaraw prison, 20 from Yinnyein hard labor camp, and 104 from Zinkyaik, Mokepalin, Innbyaung, Ingapo, and Taungzun hard labor camps.
Despite the release of several hundred individuals under the pardon, 23 from Kyaikmaraw prison and 8 from Thaton prison, just a total of 31 male and female political prisoners were set free.
A former political prisoner remarked that those who were released among the political prisoners pardoned, had approximately one year remaining in their sentences.
“The majority of those granted pardon were individuals convicted of minor infractions such as illegal gambling. The Military Council’s release of only a handful of political prisoners seems more symbolic than substantive. In truth, the Military Council appears to be strategically holding political prisoners as hostages, utilizing them as a political maneuver”, he told Than Lwin Times.
The Military Council stated that 114 foreign individuals, both men and women, were among those granted release, and they were subsequently deported.
The Military Council also mentioned that these pardons were bestowed in commemoration of the 76th Independence Day, observed on January 4th.
News- Than Lwin Times