Myanmar pardons more than 9,000 prisoners in New Year amnesty

Myanmar pardons more than 9,000 prisoners in New Year amnesty

Myanmar began releasing more than 9,000 prisoners on Wednesday, with many drug offenders among the first to walk free, but just two political detainees, after the president declared an amnesty on the first day of the traditional New Year, reports Trend referring to Reuters

President Win Myint said 9,535 local prisoners, and 16 foreigners, had been pardoned in a gesture designed “for the peace and pleasure of the people, and taking into consideration humanitarian concerns”.

Authorities were scrutinizing who should be pardoned among the rest, he said in a statement on his Facebook page, without elaborating.

Myanmar regularly orders such releases from its overcrowded prisons to mark the holiday.

Dozens of people waited in sweltering heat for hours at the gates of Insein prison, the colonial-era jail on the outskirts of the commercial capital of Yangon, hoping their relatives would be among those pardoned.

Under the setting sun, prisoners began to trickle through the gates as crowds cheered and waved green Eugenia leaves, symbols of good fortune.

Many of those released said they had been convicted on drugs charges, some receiving long sentences for possession of small quantities of banned substances.

“There are too many people who should be released inside the prison,” said 33-year-old Paik Paik, who said she served four years of a seven-year sentence, some of them spent breaking rocks at a labor camp separated from her children, after she was arrested with two methamphetamine pills.

“The punishment does not fit the crime,” she added.

Two Reuters reporters jailed for breaking the Official Secrets Act were not among those being pardoned, a senior official at Insein, where they are being held, told Reuters.

Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party came to power in 2016 promising to free political prisoners from jails across the country, but activists say they continue to be imprisoned.

In the past week, a filmmaker accused of defaming the military was denied bail and sent to Insein, while several satirical poets were charged with online defamation for broadcasting a New Year performance critical of the army.

Two political prisoners, of a total of 364, were released on Wednesday, said Aung Myo Kyaw of a human rights group, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Maran Gam and Zau La, members of an ethnic armed group, were sentenced to life imprisonment in 2000 on drug trafficking charges. Activists said the military invited them to a meeting and arrested them when they arrived.

Among the political prisoners behind bars or facing trial are people accused of criticizing the army and ethnic minority activists jailed after protesting against war between government forces and minority insurgents.

It was not immediately clear if there would be further releases later. A government spokesman did not answer telephone calls from Reuters to seek comment, while a spokesman for the ruling party said he did not know.

USAID empowers early adopters of digital economy of Turkmenistan
USAID empowers early adopters of digital economy of Turkmenistan
Google workers to form global union alliance
Google workers to form global union alliance
Nike urges court to throw out EU probe into Dutch tax deal
Nike urges court to throw out EU probe into Dutch tax deal
Loading Bars
Latest
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on Jan.26
USAID empowers early adopters of digital economy of Turkmenistan
Azerbaijan's heavy industry to reach new level
Uzbekistan Airports officially joins Airport Council International
Uzbekistan, EAEU approve road map for effective co-op in 2021
Kazakhstan boosts petroleum oil exports to Austria despite COVID-19
Kazakhstan restoring crude petroleum exports to Czech Republic
Volume of loans issued by Georgia commercial banks up
Kazakhstan’s largest gas supplying company opens tender for road repairs
Kazakhstan taking measures to develop container transportation by railway and sea
Kazakhstan continues to implement transport projects despite COVID-19 pandemic
Azerbaijan’s Baku Taxi Service opens tender for maintenance and repair of London Taxi
Investments in Azerbaijan's economy to increase - Standard & Poor's
Kazakhstan working on launching ferry service with Turkmenbashi, Makhachkala ports
Uzbekistan to use South Korea’s experience in digital economy dev’t
Azerbaijan planning to export domestic oil for diesel engines to Ukraine
Google workers to form global union alliance
S&P forecasts decrease in unemployment rate in Azerbaijan
Azercell expanded the coverage of the LTE network to more than 85% of the country's territory last year
Iran's exports through Astara customs grow
Relations on two sides of Araz are relations of kinship and friendship - Iranian FM
Azerbaijan shows footage from Kurdler village of Fuzuli district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to rise
Contract to be signed on eleventh phase of Iran's South Pars gas field
Liabilities of Azerbaijani private sector to banks to decrease over next 3 years
Foreign trade turnover of Uzbekistan’s Samarkand region reduced in 2020
Turkish Yilmaden Holding eyeing chromite enrichment launch in East Kazakhstan
Georgia sees decrease in wine export
Production of vehicles in Azerbaijan increases
Hogan Lovells continues to advise Shah Deniz consortium after launch of SGC
Azerbaijan's Unicapital OJSC predicts notable rise in operations with securities for 2021
South Korea allocates additional grant for Uzbekistan to counter spread of COVID-19
Kazakhstan to auction several land plots for hydrocarbons exploration, dev't
Iran’s IOOC continues operations in Sivand and Esfand oil fields
Azerbaijan's AzerGold CJSC reveals 2020 revenues from export of gold, silver
S&P Global Ratings discloses forecast average inflation rate in Azerbaijan until 2024
Visit of Iran's Zarif to Baku - historic, says MFA spokesman
Russian MP included in "blacklist" - Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry
New opportunities with respect to new situation in region open wide doors to cooperation - President Aliyev
Cooperation on Khudafarin water reservoir, future plans with respect to construction of power station already in very active phase - President of Azerbaijan
Russia’s Tatneft in Turkmenistan opens tender for provision of truck crane services
We will be very happy to see companies from Iran among companies who participate in reconstruction of liberated areas - President Aliyev
Iran to carry out vaccination against COVID-19 in Jan.-Feb. 2020
Non-OPEC oil supply to rise in 2021, says JP Morgan
Iran and Tajikistan agree to complete Istiqlol tunnel
Iran boosts value of exports from Gilan Province
Uzbekistan manages to maintain active foreign trade balance with number of countries
Volume of goods available in Iranian ports revealed
Italy consumer association sues Apple for planned iPhone obsolescence
Iran asks EU to comply with its commitments within JCPOA
IKEA lowers climate footprint helped by pandemic and energy-efficient light bulbs
Iran says it will comply with its commitments if US returns to nuclear deal
Georgian Innovation and Technology Agency implements new project with WB support
Iran discloses data of exports via Astara port
Remittance inflows to Georgia increasing
Uzbek agro-industrial agency announces tender for well construction
Turkey testing domestic missile from submarine (VIDEO)
Kazakhstan's Ministry of Agriculture preparing for sowing campaign
ECB can price climate risk better than the market
Azerbaijan's First VP Mehriban Aliyeva re-elected as President of Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation
Azerbaijani Economic Zones Dev't Agency to stimulate investment inflow in industrial parks
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for January 25
Agricultural lands in Iran to be equipped with modern irrigation systems
Azerbaijan's current account balance to return to surplus in 2021 - Standard & Poor's
Azerbaijan sends letters on Armenia's crimes to several countries (PHOTOS)
USAID launches new regional projects with participation of Turkmenistan
Iran’s Petropars Operation and Management Company signed contract on Forouzan field
Trade facilities, hairdressers, and beauty salons resume activity in Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Spain interested in financing infrastructure projects in Georgia - Spanish Foreign Ministry
Uzbek-Korean JV announces tender for transport services
Iran could rely on oil and gas export for generating revenues - former minister
Azerbaijani investor talks automation of derivative transactions in capital market
Operation in Dashalti in 1992 went down in history as Azerbaijan's most unsuccessful military operation
Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office puts several Armenian mercenaries on wanted list
Industrial gas inflow obtained from exploration well managed by Uzbekneftegaz
Nike urges court to throw out EU probe into Dutch tax deal
Uzbekistan to mark lands with organic agricultural seeds with special signs
German business morale drops to six-month low on virus woes
Uzbekistan achieves positive economic growth despite global pandemic
Iran's export via Bazargan border booming
Iranian ship seized in Indonesian waters
Several contracts signed on oil fields of Iran’s NISOC
SOFAZ reveals income generated from sale of condensate from Shah Deniz field
Azerbaijan's SOFAZ discloses volume of revenues from ACG fields for 2020
Georgia reports 298 new COVID-19 cases
Turkmenistan working on registration of second Russian coronavirus vaccine
Dostlug field's development to potentially connect Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan-Europe gas pipelines
Azerbaijan records growth in volume of deposited securities
Textile production in Kazakhstan shows stable growth
Volume of cargo loaded, unloaded in Iran’s Amirabad port announced
Azerbaijani FM receives Iranian counterpart (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Construction of new railway terminal between Iran and Azerbaijan to be launched
Economy Minister talks Karabakh's role in development of Azerbaijan's non-oil sector
Uzbekistan boosts Chinese apple import despite COVID-19
Kazakhstan reports slight decrease in imports from Egypt
Israelis express readiness to travel to Georgia
Turkmenistan plans to commission number of new facilities this year
Uzbek currency rates for January 25
Negotiations to be held on issue of tomato supply from Azerbaijan to Russia
Azerbaijan eyes to integrate state entities to government-cloud system
All news