Myanmar junta will release prisoners jailed for anti-coup stir
News Desk || shiningbd
Myanmar's junta chief Min Aung Hlaing said on Monday that the junta will release 5,636 prisoners jailed for protesting against this year's February coup, adding that the ruling military in the country is committed to peace and democracy. However, Hlaing refused to share any details regarding who will be released. According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, more than 7,300 people continue to remain behind bars in Myanmar.
Hlaing's remarks come two days after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said on Saturday that he will be excluded from the association's upcoming summit on October 26.
Instead, foreign ministers of the bloc decided to invite a non-political representative from Myanmar to its summit, in what was seen as a snub to the military leaders behind the coup against Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government in February.
The bloc, which has been widely criticized as a toothless organization, took a stand after the junta rebuffed requests that a special envoy meets with "all stakeholders" in Myanmar- a phrase seen to include Suu Kyi.
In a televised address on Monday, the Junta chief made no mention of the ASEAN’s decision but urged it to consider the provocations and violence being carried out by its opponents.
"More violence happened due to provocations of terrorist groups. No one cares about their violence and is only demanding we solve the issue. ASEAN should work on that," Hlaing said.
Min Aung Hlaing led the February coup in Myanmar, which resulted in widespread protests across the Asian country and the military resorted to violence to disperse the demonstrators.
Hlaing's administration justified the takeover as it cited alleged rigging in the 2020 elections, which Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party won. Suu Kyi currently stares at a raft of charges in a junta court that could see her jailed for decades.