Wed, 01 Dec 2021

Junta dissidents go into hiding fearing re-arrests in Myanmar

Khalid Umar Malik
22 Oct 2021, 17:06 GMT+10

YANGON, Myanmar - According to a rights group reporting the plight of Myanmar's political prisoners, at least 110 of the thousands of political prisoners who were released on Monday as part of a sweeping amnesty have been hauled back into custody.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) released a statement on Thursday saying it has identified 110 cases of inmates being re-arrested shortly after being released by prison authorities.

Some detainees were "released then cynically re-arrested as soon as they arrived home. Some others were told they were on the released list, taken to the jail entrance, only to be taken back to prison in the face of additional charges," the AAPP added.

Some of the released, fearing re-arrest, immediately went into hiding.

The Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), the National Unity Government (NUG), and the NUG-backed People's Defence Force (PDF) were declared "terrorist groups" by the regime in May.

It meant that anyone suspected of being associated with these groups might face up to three years in prison under the Unlawful Associations Act or ten years to life under the Counter-Terrorism Law.

The AAPP strongly opposed the re-arrest of released prisoners. as "a form of physical and mental torture, not only to the political detainees but also their families."

On Monday, the junta released more than 5,600 people from prison or dropped criminal charges against them, just three days after the regime's head was prevented from attending an ASEAN summit for failing to implement a deal agreed with the regional group to de-escalate Myanmar's political crisis.

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