Myanmar junta pardons more than 2,000 prisoners jailed for anti-military dissent

Myanmar's junta chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who ousted the elected government in a coup on February 1, 2021, presides over an army parade on Armed Forces Day in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, March 27, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/File)

Myanmar's junta declared on Wednesday that it had granted amnesty to more than 2,000 prisoners jailed under a law that criminalizes inciting opposition to the military.

In observance of Kasone Full Moon Day, a Buddhist festival, the military pardoned "2,153 prisoners serving sentences under Penal Code 505 (a)," according to a junta statement.

The law, which carries a maximum three-year prison sentence, has been extensively utilized in the junta's crackdown on dissent since February 2021, when it seized power.

The military issued the pardons "for the peaceful mind of the people and on humanitarian grounds," according to the statement.

Those who commit a second offense will be required to serve the remainder of their sentence, and a new penalty was added.

A local monitoring group reports that more than 21,000 individuals have been arrested since the military overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi's government and plunged the country into chaos.

Since the coup, at least 170 journalists have been incarcerated, according to the United Nations.

Thousands of prisoners are typically granted amnesty during national holidays or Buddhist festivals.

Publish : 2023-05-03 10:38:00

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