New Myanmar government begins releasing political prisoners

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Source:   —  April 08, 2016, at 4:42 PM

Myanmar media reported that more than sixty students arrested a year ago during a protest over education reforms were released by a Ct in the central town of Tharrawaddy.

New Myanmar government begins releasing political prisoners

Myanmar'south government began releasing political prisoners on Friday below a map announced by the country'south new de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Myanmar media reported that more than sixty students arrested a year ago during a protest over education reforms were released by a Ct in the central town of Tharrawaddy. The releases were portion of a common amnesty that also covered other convicts ahead of Myanmar'south traditional New Year festival, frequently the occasion for prisoner releases.

Photos from the scene showed some of the released prisoners being presented with bouquets and garlands by well-wishers.

Rights groups estimated that one hundred political detainees remained in prison when a military-backed government was succeeded by Suu Kyi'south National League for Democracy party late latest month. About four hundred others were being held pending trial, including those freed in Tharrawaddy. Different procedures are required for the release of people from the two groups.

Below the previous government that took power in two thousand-eleventh, more than 1.100 political detainees were released. The junta that held power before then kept Suu Kyi below house arrest for a no of years, and jailed hundreds of her supporters and other critics.

Suu Kyi, who holds the specially created post of state counsellor, announced Thursday in a statement on the Facebook page of the office of President Htin Kyaw that the release of political prisoners was a priority. It was her first official act in her new job, which is related to that of prime minister.

By agreement of her party, Suu Kyi is the de facto head of government, though the military-era constitution doesn't authorize her to be president because her two sons have British citizenship. Shortly before her party won a landslide triumph in latest November'south election, she announced her intention to running the government by being "above the president."

The students released in Tharrawaddy were arrested in March latest year while marching to protest a new law that they said keep all decisions about educational policy and curriculum in the hands of a grouping largely composed of government ministers, undermining the autonomy of universities.

They were detained after hundreds of revolt police charged their protest, pummeling them with batons and dragging them into trucks. Charges against them included injuring a public servant, which carries a maximum penalty of three years' imprisonment, and unlawful assembly, which carries a six-month sentence.

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