Bangkok, April 17. Myanmar’s military junta, in power since a 2021 coup, announced an amnesty on Monday for more than 3,000 prisoners, including around 100 foreigners, although it is unclear whether there are political prisoners.

In a statement, the coup commission said that 3,015 detainees benefit from the measure promoted following the Buddhist or Thingyan New Year, which was celebrated between Thursday and Sunday.

The Burmese army only specified that among the foreigners there were five Sri Lankan citizens, without detailing the rest of the nationalities of the prisoners who are favored by the amnesty.

The prisoners’ amnesty, a common initiative in Burma on certain dates, comes after the massacre last Tuesday of 168 people, including 40 minors, after the army bombarded a town in the northwest of the country.

In previous amnesties, the junta has released political prisoners, but only a few tens of thousands of them are behind bars, and some have been re-arrested.

The February 1, 2021 military coup plunged Burma into a deep political, social and economic crisis and opened a spiral of violence with new civilian militias that exacerbated the guerrilla warfare that the country has known for decades.

The UN denounced in March that more than 3,000 civilians have been killed, 1.3 million have had to flee their homes and 16,000 have become political prisoners since the coup, including the de facto leader of the ousted government, Aung San Suu Kyi, ending a decade of democratic transition. ECE


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