Press Statement, Junta August 1, 2023, Prisoner Release Announcement
On the Full Moon of Waso, the junta made 7 announcements in regards to the release of sentenced prisoners and prisoners facing trial.
The announcements in question covered:
(1) President U Win Myint
(2) State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
(3) 22 political prisoners from Ethnic Resistance Organizations
(4) 72 members of Ethnic Resistance Organizations who were facing trials had their cases dismissed
(5) 7,749 prisoners
(6) 125 foreign prisoners were released
(7) Several prisoners on death row had sentences commuted to life imprisonment
Two of the five charges against President U Win Myint, and five of the 19 charges against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi were removed.
U Win Myint’s prison sentence was commuted by 2 years for the two removed charges, he still has to serve 10 years in prison. In a similar vein, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s prison sentence was only commuted by 6 years for the five removed charges, she still has to serve 27 years in prison.
22 people who were imprisoned for their relations with 4 Ethnic Resistance Organizations (EROs), MNDAA, TNLA, SSPP/SSA, and AA, were released.
Only a handful of political prisoners were released out of 7,749 prisoners across the country. As of 10 a.m. at the time of writing this report, AAPP has confirmed over (120) prisoners but further verification of prisoners is ongoing.
The junta continues to deny its criminal detention of (24,130) innocent civilians since the coup.
- The political prisoners released were unjustly arrested and should never have been detained in the first place.
- The military refuses to be transparent about the identities of the political prisoners to impede independent verification of accurate numbers released, and whether political prisoners are included among them.
- Political prisoners released will have had less than 6-months of their sentences remaining.
AAPP Secretary U Tate Naing, said Releasing people after forcibly arresting them arbitrarily in the first place does not signal a relaxation in repression. The military uses these announcements to deceive international opinion on a regular basis. The military wants the outside world to think they are compromising. But the Burma military is not interested in dialogue, that much is clear from its 2021 coup and its decades of atrocities against ethnic people seeking autonomy.
AAPP Joint-Secretary U Bo Kyi said that The junta is using political prisoners for its hostage diplomacy, these releases are not acts of good will. On the same day of this so-called amnesty, the military junta continued its violent oppression of an entire country. In this past month, junta soldiers and supporters continued to terrorize the population, as evident in their detainment and killing of (144) and (101) people respectively. [AAPP data July 1, 2023 – July 31, 2023]
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