Myanmar military announces amnesty for 2,000 prisoners

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YANGON – The military junta in Myanmar has announced the release of more than 2,000 prisoners, including 700 in the notorious Insein prison in Yangon.

On Wednesday (30), some 300 relatives and friends of prisoners were waiting outside Insein – which was known during previous decades of military rule as a place where inmates were tortured – hoping their loved ones would be among those released.

“We will release them today. It will be more than 700 prisoners, but I cannot confirm when exactly this will be,” a prison spokesperson told dpa.

“I hope that a friend of mine will be released today,” one of the people waiting, Than Zaw from Yangon, told dpa.

His friend had been active in the protest movement against the military and was arrested in May, he said.

At the end of April, the junta led by Min Aung Hlaing released 23,000 prisoners on the occasion of the Buddhist New Year’s celebration Thingyan.

Since the military coup in early February, Myanmar has sunk into chaos and violence, with the army violently repressing any kind of resistance.

According to estimates by the non-profit Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, at least 883 people have been killed and more than 6,400 arrested. There have been repeated reports of torture during interrogations.

-dpa

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