November 18, 2022
On November 16 evening, the military junta announced via Myawaddy Television, 5774 prisoners would be released the following day under pardon order, No. 70/2022, of the Code of Criminal Procedure Article 401 (1).
Up until now, AAPP has been monitoring and can confirm the release of only 72 political prisoners following this announcement and are cautious to declare this significantly higher as yet. All political prisoners released yesterday were also done so under the condition of retrospective sentencing.
The releases were an attempt to show political good will, but tens of thousands of political prisoners including the President and State Counsellor remain behind bars. Detained political prisoners will continue to endure daily physical and mental torture whilst across the country the military junta’s arrests, arsons, torture and murder will persist.
AAPP Secretary U Tate Naing said “most these released political prisoners had already been sentenced under baseless accusations and random charges, after detaining them in the first place for no apparent reason. Others had almost already served their prison sentences. The whole charade is but an attempt to alleviate domestic and international pressure off the junta, so that it can continue to commit inhumane crimes daily against the people.
AAPP Joint-Secretary U Bo Kyi said that “just as in every prison release since the coup the junta has refused to be transparent about the numbers of political prisoners released and the identities of those released. It is a deliberate tactic meant to deceive foreign governments”.
AAPP will continue to make efforts to ensure the unconditional release of all the arbitrarily detained, including the President and State Counsellor. Perpetrators of arbitrary arrests, torture, and murder must be punished. International actors are strongly urged to take more effective measures against the junta regime.
Data on releases is still being verified, we will update accordingly when further information is received. If anyone would like to share information about the prison releases contact:
Assistance Association for Political Prisoners