Myanmar’s junta released 23,184 prisoners from jails across the country on Saturday under a New Year amnesty, a Prisons Department spokesman said, though few, if any,arrested since a February coup were thought to be among them. Saturday is the first day of the traditional New day of a five-day holiday, usually celebrated with visits to Buddhist temples and rowdy water-throwing
and partying in the streets. Pro-democracy activists called for the cancellation of the festivities this year and instead for people to focus on a campaign to restore democracy after the military’s ouster of the elected government of Nobel laureate. Ms. Suu Kyi is among 3,141 people arrested in connection with the coup, according to a tally by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) activist group.
“These detainees are mostly from before Feb. 1, but there are also some who were imprisoned after,” Prisons Department spokesman Kyaw Tun Oo told Reuters by telephone.
Asked if any of those being freed might have been detained in connection with the protests against military rule, he said he did not have details of the amnesties.
While the military was freeing thousands of prisoners, it was alsoon warrants in connection with the protests, the AAPP said.
Among them are 200 people, including several internet celebrities, actors, and singers who have spoken out against the coup, wanted on a charge of encouraging dissent in the armed forces, which can carry a three-year. Two of them, the married couple of film director Christina Kyi and actor Zenn Kyi, were detained at the airport in the central city of Yangon on Saturday as they were trying to leave on a flight to Bangkok, the Irrawaddy news site reported.
A spokesman for the junta did not answer calls seeking comment.
election commission dismissed the objections. The ousted government had held power for the first five nearly half a century of army control ended., which the military defended with accusations of fraud in a November election won by Ms. Suu Kyi’s party. However, the
People infuriated by the return of military rule have taken to the streets daily to demand the restoration of democracy, defying crackdowns by thein which 728 people have been killed, according to the AAPP’s latest figures.
Political leaders, including ousted members of parliament,(NUG) on Friday, including Ms. Suu Kyi and leaders of the and ethnic minorities.
The NUGand has called for international recognition. in Mandalay, Myanmar, demonstrations demonstrated a banner on Apr. 17, 2021.
The junta has yet to comment on the unity government but has said it willwithin two years and hand power to the winner.
The NUG’s, Duwal Sheila, an ethnic Kachin lawyer, said the road to replacing military rule with democracy would be rough in New Year’s message.
“We pledge to continue working with all ethnic peoples to overthrow the military dictatorship and establish a new federal democracy,” he said.
Thethat protesters took to the streets in the second city of Mandalay in support of the NUG.
The coup has also triggered clashes between the army and ethnic minority insurgent groups in the north and east. On Saturday, fighters from the Kachin Independence Army attacked an airbase in the north with rockets or shells, one of which hit a nearby village house, injuring one person, the Mizzima news agency reported. Ms. Suu Kyi faces various charges, including violating an official secret act that could see her jailed for 14 years. Her lawyers dismiss the charges.