Amnesty for 6,000 prisoners in Myanmar, deportation of four foreigners

Environmental Protection Agency

NOS News

Myanmar’s military government has said it will pardon nearly 6,000 prisoners in celebration of National Victory Day. Among them are prominent activists against the military council that has been ruling the country since last year’s coup, in addition to four foreigners.

It is not known how many people have actually been released. Reuters sources say they saw a bus leaving Insein prison in Yangon today, carrying human rights activist Mya Aye and opposition member Myo Nyunt.

Former British ambassador Vicki Bowman is to be released along with her husband to Myanmar. Also mentioned are Australian Sean Turnell, economic adviser to opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as Japanese journalist Toru Kubota and Myanmar-American Kyaw Htay O, who worked as a gardener for Aung San Suu Kyi.

Foreign prisoners will be deported from the country, most likely to Bangkok, says journalist and Myanmar expert Minka Neguise in NOS Radio 1 Magazine. We do not yet know the extent of this blanket amnesty for local prisoners.

The minority is a political prisoner

Negues: “The regime has a long history of announcing amnesties due to national holidays, like today. This often concerns thousands of people, but many of them have been imprisoned for criminal activities. Political prisoners are only a minority. They have already served their sentences.”

According to Nieghis, there is therefore “confusion, many rumours, many happy expectations, many stumbling blocks among the friends and families of the prisoners. Political prisoners are also often locked up in remote parts of the country. When the gates open, there is no contact in the area to confirm their release.” “.

In other words, the scope of the amnesty will remain unclear for some time to come. Negues: “Don’t forget that arrests are going on in the meantime. For example, a political prisoner was released a few days ago, but he was arrested almost the same day.”

Dozens of people were waiting in the pouring rain to see if they could spot a released loved one:

In the pouring rain at the release of a loved one

In addition to imitating the holidays, the regime’s mass amnesty may be a way to deflect criticism from the outside, says Nieghis. Indonesia recently said it was taking a harder line on Myanmar and Malaysia has already said it will not recognize next year’s elections in Myanmar, which the junta has called for.

Negues: “If pressure increases from outside, especially from their own region, political prisoners are often used as a kind of change to reduce that pressure somewhat. This can be a way of signaling that there is some flexibility.”

Public Enemy No. 1

Nijhuis: “She still has to serve another 27 years and there are still lawsuits against her. Now she is also being held under ever more appalling conditions. In isolation, in prison clothes in a building somewhere on a prison site in the new capital Naypyidaw She will only be released if the military rulers can extract huge political gains from her. Right now, she is the enemy of the people No. 1.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.