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Myanmar Frees Hundreds of Political Prisoners Under Pressure From ASEAN

Legal correspondent: Sameer Gupta

Hundreds of political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi's party spokesman and a well-known comedian named Zarganar, have been released by Myanmar's military administration from the notorious Insein jail, according to local media.

State television reported minutes after military ruler Min Aung Hlaing's speech on October 18 that more than 5,600 persons jailed or wanted for their roles in anti-coup rallies would be released in a humanitarian amnesty.

Some activists saw the publication as a ruse by the ruling military to repair its international image after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) took the unusual step of excluding the junta commander from attending its summit.

Tom Andrews, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, welcomed their release on Twitter, but called their detention "outrageous."

"The junta is releasing political detainees in Myanmar because of pressure, not because of a change of heart," he explained.


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