Burma Times: 24 January, 2016
Before stepping down the outgoing government of Myanmar granted an amnesty and released many prisoners in which included some political prisoners throughout the country since last Friday.
The amnesty was granted days after the US urged the government to release all political prisoners.
“On Friday, about 100 were come out from Insein, where included 52 political prisoners and Phil Blackwood, a citizen of New Zealand who said insulted Buddhism by advertising a bar with wearing headphone on Buddha” said Amnesty International (AI).
Zaw Htay, the director of the office of President Thein Sein said that the amnesty is for showing the President benevolent and willing them to work for the interest of the country.
According to the Zaw Htay, about other 80 prisoners who are facing death sentence were also reduced to lifetime in prison.
At the meantime, AI said that a court sentenced for a six months jail to Patrick Kum Jaa Lee, an aid worker for defaming army and Chaw Sandi Tun (25) who compared army uniform with a longi wore by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in their Facebook.
The joint secretary of Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) (AAPP), Mr. Bo Kyi said that the releases were on conditional. “The beneficiaries of amnesty could be returned to prison to finish their terms plus a new ones if they are convicted any offense” he said.
According to Mr. Bo Kyi, there are still 78 more political prisoners remaining in the prison and other 400 are waiting for the trails after Friday’s release.
Anyhow, more political prisoners are continuously releasing from other prisons in all over Myanmar.
The US welcomed the release but embraced its concerns over the prisoners remaining in the jail and for those who are awaiting for the trails through a statement released by US embassy in Yangon. In the statement the US also urged the outgoing government to release all of them.