The Myanmar Military Junta announced this Saturday that on the occasion of Union Day, which is celebrated in that Southeast Asian country on February 12, it will release a total of 814 prisoners through an amnesty.
UNHCR warns that displaced people in Myanmar have doubled
The head of the Junta, Maj. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, made the announcement during a military parade in the capital, Najipidow. According to international media, thousands of uniformed personnel and numerous war equipment participated in the ceremony.
Such deployment was interpreted as a show of force directed at opponents of the de facto regime that has existed in the country since February 1, 2021, when the military carried out a coup and deposed President U Win Myint and State Councilor Aung San. Suu Ky.
According to the spokesman for the Military Junta, Major General Zaw Min Tun, the pardon will mainly benefit inmates who are imprisoned in prisons in the country’s largest city, Rangoon (center).
In a statement, this spokesman did not specify whether the amnesty would entail the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and her economic adviser, Australian academic Sean Turnell, who have been under arrest since the coup and have been charged with various crimes.
In 2021, the Military Junta released nearly 23,000 prisoners also on the occasion of Union Day, a fact that took place at a time when broad sectors of the citizenry opposed the coup coup through massive marches.
The Board violently suppressed the protests. According to the non-governmental organization Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP), the repression has so far left 1,547 people murdered and 12,098 detained.
After the coup, more than 800,000 people have been displaced, according to data from the United Nations (UN) and its refugee agency, Acnur.
We are scaling up our emergency response to assist internally displaced people in Myanmar as their number crossed the 800,000 mark – doubling in the past year – and armed conflict intensifies.https://t.co/ThV9ULrIef
— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees)
February 11, 2022
Other announcements of the military parade
In a message to the troops participating in the parade, Min Aung Hlaing reiterated that the coup was necessary because the National League for Democracy, a party led by Aung San Suu Kyi, committed massive fraud during the November 2020 elections, which he won by a large majority and in the presence of a significant number of observers.
The high-ranking official also invited the armed groups of various ethnic groups that are fighting the Junta to sit down at the dialogue table and seek peace.
Hours before the parade there was a strong explosion in Nayipidó, which so far has not been attributed to any of these groups.
Union Day marks the anniversary of a historic meeting between the Myanmar government and ethnic minority leaders, which took place in 1947 and led to the signing of the Panglong Agreement.