A total of 5,636 citizens imprisoned for protesting against the coup that overthrew the government on February 1, 2020, will be released, as announced on October 18 by the Military Junta that governs the country. The army blamed the opposition for prolonging the unrest against them.
The Burmese military junta, questioned about the repression against anyone who protests against it, assured this Monday, October 18, that it is committed to peace and democracy.
The head of the army who led the 2020 coup, Min Aung Hlaing, announced that he will release 5,636 people imprisoned during the demonstrations against him, for “humanitarian reasons.”
According to Aung Hlaing, the citizens will be released next Wednesday, October 20, when the traditional Thingyan enlightenment day is celebrated, which is commemorated on the full moon day of the Burmese lunar month and is the second most important festival in the country. .
People who regain their freedom must sign a document in which they commit to “not commit more acts of violence” against the nation.
Myanmar’s ruling junta said it would free more than 5,600 anti-regime protesters this week to mark the Lighting Festival, a three-day holiday. It is the first significant release of political prisoners since the military seized power in February.https://t.co/kRM3bLPKsH
– The New York Times (@nytimes) October 18, 2021
At the moment the names of the people who would be on the list are unknown. However, the local press stresses that it is unlikely that the country’s ousted leaders will be released from prison: the leader Aung San Suu yi and the ousted vice president, Win Myint.
The two face separate legal proceedings, but paradoxically none of the alleged crimes are related to the alleged electoral fraud, which is why the Army justified the seizure of power.
Suu Kyi was charged with allegedly illegally importing communications equipment. Meanwhile, Myint was charged with allegedly violating the natural disaster management law, according to official sources.
However, the news of the releases for thousands of citizens causes great expectations in the country and comes at a time of maximum isolation for the Myanmar Army from the international community.
Myanmar’s military junta accuses opposition of prolonging unrest
The announcement of alleged goodwill by those who perpetrated the coup comes just after the army leader was excluded from the summit of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to which Myanmar has belonged since 1997.
Instead, the association decided to invite a non-political representative from the country to the meeting that will take place between October 26 and 28, which has been considered an unprecedented slight. The move further raised the tension between the country’s new rulers and the nations of the region.
This Monday, while announcing the release of thousands of protesters, General Min Aung Hlaing assured that ASEAN should reconsider the “provocations” and “violence”, which it says is carried out by its opponents supported from abroad.
“More violence occurred due to provocations by terrorist groups (…) Nobody cares about their violence, and is only demanding that we solve the problem. ASEAN should work on that,” said the head of the Military Junta in a speech broadcast on national television.
The wave of violence that began in Myanmar due to the repression of thousands of protesters by the military has spread and deepened with the incursion of various groups against the military regime.
The NUG, a broad alliance of anti-coup groups that includes members of the ousted Suu Kyi ruling party, has supported the training and formation of militias called “People’s Defense Forces” to attack security forces in various regions of the country.
Recently, the NUG declared a national rebellion against the military regime and called for it to be recognized as the legitimate representative of the country.
“The exclusion of Min Aung Hlaing from ASEAN is an important step, but we request that we be recognized as the appropriate representative,” said its spokesperson, Dr. Sasa.
Myanmar’s security forces have killed more than 1,100 people, according to activists and the United Nations.
With Reuters and EFE