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News > Myanmar

Myanmar Grants Amnesty to 7,012 Prisoners on Independence Day

  • People greet prisoners being released, Yangon, Myanmar, Jan. 4, 2023.

    People greet prisoners being released, Yangon, Myanmar, Jan. 4, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @EazyCadet

Published 4 January 2023

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, however, denounced that over 13,300 people remain in detention.

On Wednesday, Myanmar's Military Junta led by Min Aung Hlaing granted amnesty to 7,012 prisoners to mark the country's 75th Anniversary of Independence Day.


Myanmar: Military Judges Sentence Suu Kyi to 7 Years in Jail

According to the pardon orders, the prisoners were remitted sentences to mark the 75th anniversary of Independence Day, for the peace of the people and on humanitarian ground. 

Aung Hlaing, who seized power through a coup d'état carried out on February 1, 2021, also reduced one-sixth of the sentences for some prisoners jailed across the country.

The Military Junta Spokesperson Zaw Min Tun did not clarify whether the decision to release prisoners included political prisoners such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. However, some political prisoners were released from the Insein prison in Rangoon.

Among the released political prisoners are Arkar Moe Thu, a professor at Rangoon University; Htin Lin Oo, who is a writer linked to the National League for Democracy, and Thura Aung Ko, former Minister of Religious Affairs during the Suu Kyi administration (2016-2021).

The current prisoner amnesty comes five days after Suu Kyi was sentenced to seven years in prison. On previous occasions, the Military Junta released a few dozen people in a country where there are still thousands of political prisoners.

Since the 2021 coup, Myanmar has been plunged into a deep political, social and economic crisis. This has opened a spiral of violence with new civilian militias, which have joined the guerrilla war that the country has been experiencing for decades.

At least 2,692 people, including 274 children, have been killed in a brutal crackdown by security forces, who have shot to kill peaceful and unarmed protesters. Over 13,300 people remain in detention, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

During 2021 and 2022, the Military Junta pardoned about 59,000 prisoners including 239 foreigners, according to official information.

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