Myanmar Junta Amnesty Sees 200-Plus Political Prisoners Freed

By Hein Htoo Zan 6 January 2023

More than 200 political prisoners were among the 7,012 inmates freed in this week’s Independence Day amnesty, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

The junta also detained at least 22 people on political charges on Wednesday, including prisoners who had just been released, the AAPP said.

Some political prisoners released from Insein Prison in Yangon told The Irrawaddy that other inmates were seized outside the prison.

“The police stopped our bus and detained two young men as we left the prison. I don’t know their names but they were charged with 505(a) [incitement]. I heard about others being rearrested,” said a 41-year-old political prisoner who was released on Wednesday.

Released prisoners told The Irrawaddy that the freed political prisoners had served nearly their whole terms.

The AAPP monitored at least 19 prisons around the country and reported that many of those released were detained at protests shortly after the 2021 coup.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) minister of religious and cultural affairs Thura U Aung Ko, philanthropist and writer Daw Than Myint Aung and ex-NLD spokesman U Htin Lin Oo were freed along with some journalists.

The junta released nearly 6,000 prisoners on November 17 to mark National Day, including about 402 political prisoners, according to the AAPP.