Prominent Political Prisoner Freed in Myanmar, Many Stay

49
Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 12:23 PM

Patrick Kum Ja Lee'south release was on schedule and not ordered freed by the new government. But it serves as a reminder that President Htin Kyaw will soon have to confront the military to free scores of other political prisoners still in jail for speaking out against its rule.

A prominent political prisoner was released Friday after he finished his six-month jail sentence, coincidentally on the day that Myanmar'south new, democratically-elected government began working.

Patrick Kum Ja Lee'south release was on schedule and not ordered freed by the new government. But it serves as a reminder that President Htin Kyaw will soon have to confront the military to free scores of other political prisoners still in jail for speaking out against its rule. Many are supporters of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the force behind the new government.

"I've seen many political activists who are imprisoned by the oppressive laws of the previous government," said Patrick as he walked out of the prison gates, where he was met by his wife, May Sabe Phyu, another human rights activist. "I wish the new government to be able to release all the political prisoners."

Patrick, an ethnic Kachin, was arrested in Oct and sentenced to six months in prison for writing a social media post that was considered offensive to the military commander, Senior Gen. Minute Aung Hlain.

Amnesty International recently called on the new government to work to immediately release all political prisoners jailed by the military that's been in power since one thousand nine hundred sixty-two, and by a subsequent pro-military, quasi-civilian government.

The military loosened its grip on power in two thousand-tenth and allowed free elections in November two thousand fifteen, which Suu Kyi'south National League for Democracy swept, allowing it to form a government on Thursday.

Suu Kyi has pledged to release all the remaining one hundred or so prisoners but whether that pledge is even practical remains to be seen. The military still controls some key institutions including the Residence Affairs Ministry, which runs the Corrections Department. Below the Constitution the president is required to advise the ministry, running by a former general, in order to grant amnesties.

"Aung San Suu Kyi used to say, 'The truth shall create you free,'" said Patrick, "and I hope that really happens to all the political prisoners below her government."

READ ALSO
Greece: five Damage in Violence at Migrant Detention Camp

Greece: five Damage in Violence at Migrant Detention Camp

The clashes early Friday are the latest in a series of violent incidents at shelters and gathering points across Greece, where more than 50.000 migrants and refugees are stranded following Balkan border closures supported by the European Union.

50
Despite Border Closure, Thousands Stay Keep in Border Camp

Despite Border Closure, Thousands Stay Keep in Border Camp

The gate in the fence has been sealed for nearly a mo to the thousands of refugees and other migrants whose desperate dash across the continent left Europe scrambling for a coherent response to its largest refugee crisis since World War II.

75
two Dead, Many Wounded as Police Scatter Philippine Farmers

two Dead, Many Wounded as Police Scatter Philippine Farmers

Police moved in to scatter about 6.000 farmers and their supporters who were demonstrating for the fourth straight day in Kidapawan, the capital of Cotabato province, when scuffles and gunfire broke out, police and Cotabato Gov.

69
Suspected Rebels Murder Ranger in Congo Park

Suspected Rebels Murder Ranger in Congo Park

The New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, or WCS, said Friday that the ranger was fatally shot a day earlier in Kahuzi-Biega National Park in eastern Congo, where many rebel groups operate.

62