Mon 18 October 2021:
Myanmar’s junta head announced Monday that more than 5,000 individuals who were imprisoned for protesting against a February coup that overthrew the democratic government will be released.
To honor the Thadingyut holiday later in October, a total of 5,636 detainees would be released, according to Min Aung Hlaing, who was excluded from a regional meeting days before for his government’s failure to calm the violent situation.
According to a local monitoring group, Myanmar has been in chaos since the coup, with more than 1,100 civilians killed in a brutal crackdown on dissent and more than 8,000 detained.
More than 7,300 are currently behind bars across the country, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).
The amnesty comes after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) chose to exclude Min Aung Hlaing from an upcoming conference due to the military government’s handling of the issue on Friday.
Instead, the bloc’s foreign ministers agreed to invite a “non-political representative” for Myanmar to the Oct. 26-28 summit.
The bloc, widely criticized as a toothless organization, took a strong stand after the junta rebuffed requests that a special envoy meet with “all stakeholders” in Myanmar – a phrase seen to include ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
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