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Myanmar Junta To Release Over 5,000 Jailed Anti-coup Protesters On Humanitarian Grounds

Myanmar government said that it will release more than 5,000 individuals imprisoned for protesting against a February coup that overthrew the democratic admin.


Image: AP

In a landmark development on Monday, the Myanmar junta stated that it will release more than 5,000 individuals imprisoned for protesting against the February coup that overthrew the democratic administration. Following the military's seizure of power, tens of thousands of people were detained during brutal protests in the country. Min Aung Hlaing, the coup leader, stated that the 5,636 detainees will be released on humanitarian grounds, reported BBC News. It comes only days after the general was barred from attending an annual gathering of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders because the military failed to do enough to put an end to the unrest in Myanmar.

Speaking to a local TV channel, Gen Hlaing said that the detainees will be released later in October, commemorating the Buddhist festival Thadingyut. The junta commander also stated that the military authorities were devoted to restoring peace and democracy in the country. He went on to say that the authorities released around 2,000 anti-coup demonstrators and that his government had devised its own five-stage strategy for restoring democracy in Myanmar, as reported by BBC News. 

Gen. Min Aung Hlaing further remarked that other Southeast Asian countries should share responsibility for failing to assist Myanmar in quelling the violence that has overtaken the country. He blamed the continued deadly turmoil on factions formed to oppose the military takeover. He stated that the ASEAN had failed to recognise opposition parties' role in the violence and that his administration was working hard to restore "peace and stability," reported The Associated Press (AP). It should be mentioned here that initially, nonviolent protests were carried out to oppose military rule but after security forces used lethal force to disperse demonstrations, armed self-defence was deployed in the country, reported the news agency. 

Myanmar military coup 

As Myanmar's military has taken steps to sabotage the country's democratic transition, including the arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi and a few other civilian leaders in Burma, several governments and human rights organisations around the world have expressed concern and urged the military to immediately release all those who have been detained unlawfully. However, the Myanmar Army has claimed it carried out the detentions in response to fraud in last November’s general election that Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won by a landslide. According to data from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), almost 1,200 people have been killed since the military takeover took place in February. Additionally, more than 2 lakh people have been displaced due to flashfloods and another 1.8 lakh people have been reported as COVID infected in the country. 

Image: AP

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