Myanmar: Military junta releases over 2,000 political prisoners but many thousands, including Christians, remain imprisoned

Tuesday, May 9, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags: ,

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Although around 20,000 civilians continue to be unjustly detained in Myanmar, on May 3, the ruling Buddhist nationalist military junta released 2,135 political prisoners to celebrate the Buddhist sacred day of Vasak, International Christian Concern reports.

The majority of those who were released had been imprisoned for allegedly “inciting opposition to the military regime.”

In a statement about the release of the prisoners, Amnesty International said: “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.”

Nevertheless, like Amnesty, ICC remains concerned for those who remain in jail, including Christians. Arrested in December 2022, Burmese Christian leader Dr. Hkalam Samson was sentenced to six years imprisonment on April 7 for unlawful association, defaming the state, and terrorism. Samson has served as president of the Kachin Baptist Convention for 12 years and was an adviser to the organization at the time of his arrest.

“[Samson] tried to appeal to higher courts, but the prison court rejected its appeal a day before the political prisoners were freed,” ICC said in its report.

Buddhist majority Myanmar ranks 14th on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2023 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.


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