Myanmar's president releases 8,000 prisoners to mark new year

  • Tuesday 17, April 2018 in 10:30 AM
  • Myanmar's new president
Sharjah 24 – dpa: Myanmar's new president on Tuesday released more than 8,000 prisoners to mark Myanmar’s new year and offer “humanitarian support,” according to a statement on the President's Office Facebook page.
The list includes 36 political prisoners listed by Myanmar’s Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) and more than 6,000 serving several charges, according to state television MRTV.
 
The mass amnesty is the first under the National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government, who swept to power in 2016 under the leadership of onetime democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.
 
Myanmar president Win Myint took office last month after the abrupt resignation of his predecessor.
 
Although overshadowed by Suu Kyi, who is barred from the presidency and rules as state counselor, observers hoped Win Myint would use his law background to improve rule of law and update right-abusing laws often used to silence journalists and activists.
 
Myanmar’s AAPP said that as of the end of March, there were a total of 248 political prisoners in the country, 54 serving sentences, 74 awaiting trial inside prison and 120 on bail.
 
Although welcoming release of political prisoners, AAPP on its website warns that inder the presidential amnesty—section 401 of the country’s criminal code—those released could be re-arrested without a warrant.