Myanmar releases over 5600 anti-govt protesters
The military government of Myanmar on Monday started to release more than 5600 people arrested during the anti-government protests in the country after the February 1 take over by the military.
The released prisoners include 1300 people jailed for protests against the government while the remaining 4300 people faced charges of anti-government activism of various kinds.
The list of released prisoners includes 24 artists and 10 celebrities facing lawsuits for their role in the anti-government protests. Deposed State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi’s party spokesperson and famous comedian Zarganar and another National League for Democracy (NLD) spokesman Monywa Aung Shim have also been released, Reuters quoted the local media.
Political prisoners including journalists and parliamentarians were released from other towns like Mandalay, Lashio, Meiktila and Myeik, reports Reuters.
However, those charged with violent activities have not been released under this amnesty scheme. The high profile political prisoners like the deposed State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi , former President U Win Myint and others are also not covered under the amnesty.
The release of prisoners comes after the ASEAN decision to invite a ‘non-political’ representative from Myanmar for its summit meeting scheduled to be held between 26-28 October.
Military government had released prisoners earlier also. In the first week of August, the military government had released a number of civil servants and some doctors for their participation in the Civil Disobedience movement. On June 30, 2200 prisoners accused of incitement to join the anti-government protests were released.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) (AAPP), 7355 people are detained in Myanmar following the military takeover. It reports that 1181 people have been killed in protests against the military government since February 1.