Myanmar’s military government has announced a general amnesty for more than 1,600 prisoners held on New Year’s Eve. Of these, 42 are foreign prisoners. News Reuters.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“A total of 1,829 prisoners, including 42 foreign prisoners, are being released under a general amnesty,” said a statement signed by Myanmar’s military secretary of state, Lieutenant General Aung Lin Doe.
Detainees include ousted government leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her Australian economic adviser, Shaun Turnell. Suu Kyi has been held captive in the capital, Napido. And Shaun Turnell is a prisoner in Yangon’s Insein Prison. Relatives gathered in front of Ensein Prison on Sunday to discuss the general amnesty for prisoners. A local representative at the scene told Reuters that no political prisoners had been released from Einsen prison.
Last year, 23,000 prisoners were released in the annual general amnesty for prisoners. This time the number is less than that.
According to the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners (AAP), Myanmar’s military has arrested at least 13,262 people since taking power. In addition, 1,656 people were killed in attacks, repression and protests.
The families are waiting in front of the jail with the names of their relatives written on placards. A mother waits in front of Insein Prison for her 22-year-old son, who was arrested eight months ago. The child told him he could get away with announcing a general amnesty. The waiting mother did not reveal her name due to security concerns.
Another mother was seen waiting in front of Inceen Prison. His son was arrested in June for protesting against the junta. He has been waiting in front of the jail in the hope of his son’s release whenever a general amnesty has been announced at various times before. The mother said, “I think she will be released today.” The mother did not reveal her name for fear of retaliation.
The military junta came to power after overthrowing the Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy (NLD) government in a military coup on February 1 last year. Since then, anti-military protests have erupted in the country.