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MYANMAR: MILITARY COMMUTES 38 DEATH SENTENCES AS PART OF AMNESTY FOR MORE THAN 2,100 POLITICAL PRISONERS

May 6, 2023:

Myanmar’s ruling military council on May 3, 2023 said it is releasing more than 2,100 political prisoners as a humanitarian gesture.
Thousands more remain imprisoned on charges generally involving nonviolent protests or criticism of military rule, which began when the army seized power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February 2021.
State-run MRTV television reported on May 3 that the head of Myanmar’s military council, Senior Gen Min Aung Hlaing, had pardoned 2,153 prisoners on the most important Buddhist holy day of the year, marking the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha.
In a separate report, it said Min Aung Hlaing had commuted the death sentences of 38 prisoners to life in prison. The report provided no further details.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, 112 prisoners were on death row as of May 2. The group keeps detailed tallies of arrests and casualties linked to the repression of the military government. At least four executions have been carried out since the military seized power.
The prisoner releases began on May 3 but may take a few days to be completed. The identities of those released were not immediately available, but do not include Aung San Suu Kyi, who is serving a prison term of 33 years on more than a dozen charges her supporters say were trumped up by the military.
According to an official announcement on state media, all of the prisoners granted pardons on May 3 were convicted under a section of the penal code that makes it a crime to spread comments that create public unrest or fear, or spread false news, and carries a penalty of up to three years in prison.
The terms of the pardons warn that if the freed detainees violate the law again, they will have to serve the remainder of their original sentences in addition to whatever term they are given for their new offence.
Two prisoners freed from Yangon’s notorious Insein Prison told the Associated Press they continue to support opposition political activities.
One arrested in 2021 said the terms under which they were released meant they would be on a government watchlist.
“But we know what we have to do. And we learned a lot from prison. Using that, we will continue to fight for the revolution,” said the former prisoner, who asked not to be identified for safety reasons.
Amnesty International said in an email that “anyone imprisoned for peacefully opposing the military coup in Myanmar should never have been jailed in the first place”.
The group’s deputy regional director for campaigns, Ming Yu Hah, added: “This long-overdue release should mark the first step towards the immediate release of all individuals who have been arbitrarily detained for exercising their basic rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly or other human rights.”
Mass prisoner releases are common on major holidays in Myanmar. The last release of this many political prisoners at one time occurred in July 2021, when 2,296 prisoners were freed.
In November, several high-profile political prisoners, including an Australian academic, a Japanese filmmaker, a former British ambassador and an American, were released as part of a broad prisoner amnesty that also freed many local citizens held for protesting the army takeover.

(Source: Ap, 03/05/2023)

USA - Arizona. Joe Cota Morales, a 1981 case, added to the Innocence List
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IRAN - 2 foreign citizens released from Iranian prisons
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Iran - Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentences of Three Protesters
IRAN - Appointment of Iran to chair the UN Human Rights Council’s 2023 Social Forum
IRAN - Hossein Shabanzadeh executed in Rasht on May 11
IRAN - Saber Payamian executed in Kermanshah on May 10
IRAN - Mohammad Saber Payamian executed in Kermanshah on May 10
IRAN - 3 men executed in Karaj on May 10
IRAN - Between 29 April and 8 May, 118 people were executed in Iran
IRAN - 2 unidentified men executed in Arak Prison on May 10
PAKISTAN: SHC COMMUTES DEATH SENTENCE OF TWO MURDERERS TO LIFE TERM
IRAN Four unidentified men executed in Gohardasht on May 10
UNITED NATIONS: TALIBAN'S USE OF CORPORAL PUNISHMENT VIOLATES HUMAN RIGHTS
IRAN - Najmedin Eshaghzehi executed in Semnan on May 9
IRAN - Bahman Zayerfar executed in Ahar on May 8
IRAN - Unidentified man executed in Shiraz on May 8
IRAN - Unidentified man executed in Dezful on May 8
IRAN - Hossein Shahrouzi executed in Shiraz on May 8
IRAN - 3 men executed on May 8: Mohammad Ahmadi, Yaser Rakhshani and Yunus Rigi Rakhshani
IRAN - Yousef Mehrad and Sadrollah Fazeli Zare executed for blasphemy
IRAQ: COURT ORDERS THE DEATH PENALTY FOR A POLICEMAN WHO KILLED A GOVERNMENT ADVISOR
BANGLADESH: 6 SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING SCHOOL TEACHER IN CUMILLA
IRAN - EU condemns execution of Iranian-Swedish dissident Habib Chaab
IRAN - Salahedin Majidi (Dodkanlu) and Abdollah Khan Mohammadi executed in Salmas on May 6
IRAN - Asghar Samiei and Tahmaseb Kavousi executed in Zanjan on May 6
IRAN - Iran executed Swedish-Iranian dissident Habib Chaab
IRAN - Names of 4 men executed in Khorramabad on May 5

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