THARYARWADDY, Pegu Division – Seventeen student demonstrators who were arrested during a recent crackdown in Letpadan were released from Tharyarwaddy Prison on Thursday afternoon on the condition that they abstain from future unpermitted protests. Speaking to The Irrawaddy by phone on Thursday, Pegu Divisional police force chief Win Sein said that another 10 students are to be released on Friday. “Today we have released 17 students, and another 10 will be freed tomorrow. These 27 students were confirmed by Ministry of Education as students,” he said, adding that further investigation will be carried out into the remaining 100 detainees. Win Sein said that two of the detainees have been identified as journalists but are still in custody pending clearance from the Ministry of Information. Sit Naing Aung, 18, a second year law student at Mandalay’s Yadanabon University, was among those freed. “I felt happy about my release, but I felt really bad about being detained for acting against the government’s wrongdoing,” he said. Ye Moh Moh Aung of the Eastern University of Rangoon, Soe Lwin Kyaw of the Agriculture Institute in Thaton and San Lin Htike, a mechanics student, were also freed. A complete list of those released on Thursday is not yet available. [irrawaddy_gallery] Burma’s Ministry of Home Affairs announced on Wednesday that those who were behind violent clashes at a protest site in Letpadan would be identified and punished. In a statement posted on social media, the Ministry said that those who have not committed a crime would be released, while anyone found to have been behind Tuesday’s incident, encouraged unlawful activity or “tried to destabilize the country” will be charged accordingly. A total of 127 students and other civilians were arrested on Tuesday, and as of late Wednesday about 60 people had been charged under various articles of the Penal Code including incitement, harming a public servant and rioting. This article was updated on March 12 at 4:30pm and at 7pm with additional information and sources.
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