By Van Bawi Lian | Not a single prisoner has been released in Chin State, although the Myanmar military junta freed nearly 6,000 prisoners under a mass amnesty to commemorate Burmese National Day on November 17.
A source close to the Hakha Police Station told The Chin Journal that the police station has not yet received any instruction or order from the military higher-ups in regard to the amnesty.
After the military coup in February 2021, high-profile Chin ethnic political prisoners were sent to prisons in Pakukku and Kalaymyo. Although 34 prisoners from Pakukku prison and 27 from Kalaymyo’s were freed yesterday, Chin ethnic political prisoners were excluded from the amnesty list.
The junta said it freed 5,774 prisoners. Tun Kyi, spokesman for the Association for the Assistance of Political Victims (AAPP), told VOA Burmese that majority of those released had nearly completed their prison terms.
“There is nothing to welcome and [thank] for releasing them now,” he said. “Releasing those who served prison terms is not in goodwill politically and viewed as doing it for their own good to ease tension at the international front.”
Among those freed yesterday are an Australian economist Sean Turnell, a former British ambassador Vicky Bowman, and a Japanese documentary filmmaker Toru Kubota.