Myanmar junta to free 9,652 prisoners on humanitarian grounds - state media

January 5, 2024 2:33 pm

[Source: Reuters]

Myanmar’s military government will release 9,652 prisoners, including 114 foreigners, under an amnesty to mark the country’s independence day, state media reported.

The Southeast Asian nation has been in turmoil since the military seized power in February 2021, reversing a decade-long democratic experiment, and used deadly force to crush protests.

“With the intention of maintaining relations with other countries and on humanitarian grounds, 114 foreign prisoners will be pardoned,” the junta said in a brief announcement on state media. “They will be deported.”

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In the country’s commercial capital Yangon, groups of people gathered outside Insein Prison waiting for prisoners to be released, local media reported.

Among those still imprisoned is Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been appealing sentences adding up to 27 years in detention after being convicted of a string of offences ranging from incitement and election fraud to corruption. She denies all the charges.

The military insist she has received due process by an independent court.

Authorities typically release some prisoners to mark the day when Myanmar declared independence from British rule.