07/01/2021, 12.09
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Yangon: over 2 thousand political prisoners released

Yesterday the military released journalists and protesters. According to activists it is a ploy to distract the international community. The repression of the coup generals does not stop.

Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Burmese army yesterday released more than 2,000 political prisoners, including some journalists who had criticized the harsh repression of the military junta and several demonstrators who had taken part in the protests against the coup.

Military spokesman Zaw Min Tun reported that most of the people were detained for joining the demonstrations: “A total of 2,296 people were released. They had taken part in the protests, but not in leading roles. They had not participated in violent acts”.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a non-profit based in Thailand, said the mass release was engineered to give the impression the military's sweeping crackdown had eased. "Today's events intend to make it seem like there has been a relaxation in the junta's oppression. This is not the case," it said in a statement. In fact, there are more than 5,200 political prisoners still in Burmese prisons

Salai Za Uk Ling, an activist from the Chin State Human Rights Organization, described the release as "completely meaningless" and with the sole purpose of calming the international community.

Western countries have been calling for the release of political prisoners for months, condemning the takeover of the Tatmadaw (the Burmese army). With the February 1 coup, the military overthrew civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, now in prison and on trial, and overturned the November election result.

Several newspapers have confirmed the release of some of their reporters. The Myanmar Now portal confirmed the release of one of their journalists, Kay Zon Nwa, who was detained for 124 days on charges of inciting violence. “"Like many other political detainees, she was unfairly arrested. She has suffered a lot in prison. But today, I'm glad to see her again in great spirits," Swe Win, Myanmar Now's editor-in-chief said.

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