Conflicts & War

Myanmar junta re-arrests at least 110 recently released political prisoners

Bangkok, Oct 22 (EFE).- The Myanmar military junta has re-arrested at least 110 political detainees released after an amnesty earlier this week, says the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) monitoring group.

The AAPP said the military authorities detained many released prisoners soon after arriving home and charged them with new accusations.

The monitor said the actual number of arrests could “be even higher.”

The nonprofit said the military rulers included some prisoners in the list of released but imprisoned them again.

“Some were re-arrested on the way out, while others were re-arrested after returning home,” it said.

The group said re-arresting a political prisoner soon after release was “a form of physical and mental torture, not only to the political detainees, but their families and loved ones.”

“It is a cruel mental (and) physical abuse.”

The nonprofit said families have lost contact with an unknown number of released prisoners, while others have chosen to take refuge at undisclosed places to avoid being detained again.

“It was never an absolute amnesty for political detainees,” the association said, strongly criticizing the military that seized power in Myanmar in a coup on Feb.1.

News portal The Irrawady said those re-arrested included rock singer Win Htut Thawdar, National League for Democracy members, and anti-regime protesters across the country.

Military dictator Min Aung Hlaing Monday said more than 5,600 people in custody or wanted for anti-regime activities would be released or have their arrest warrants canceled.

The military, however, asked the released prisoners to sign a bond that they would not participate in demonstrations or acts against the junta.

Among the high-profile released prisoners were some members of the NLD, led by civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been in detention since the early hours of the coup.

In the more than eight months of the coup, the junta has arrested more than 9,000 people.

Over 7,100 remained in detention on Oct.19, the AAPP data showed.

By Oct.20, the military killed at least 1,181 people in repression against pro-democracy protests and tortured to death 131, the AAPP said.

The Myanmar junta justifies the coup, citing alleged electoral fraud in the now annulled election results in which Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory. EFE


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