Myanmar Situation Update (11-17 April 2022)
The Myanmar military junta granted amnesty to 1,619 prisoners, including 42 foreigners, and announced their release to mark Myanmar's new year. It is unclear if political prisoners were included. According to media reports, no political protesters had been released so far from Insein Prison in Yangon. There was also no information about the Australian academic Sean Turnell, a former advisor to ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The Australian ambassador Andrea Faulkner met the coup leader Aung Min Hlaing in Naypyidaw in early April which was heavily criticized by the rights groups.
The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disasters Management of the National Unity Government of Myanmar (NUG) announced that they provided 161.42 million kyats worth of humanitarian aid to people in need across the country who have been suffering due to inhumane acts of the junta. According to media reports, over 24,300 Myanmar nationals, including women, children and political leaders, have taken shelter in Mizoram, India since the military coup in Myanmar.
Myanmar marked its Thingyan new year water festival with silence and boycotts as fighting between the military and opponents of the coup raged across the country. Media reported that there was a junta-sponsored program conducted near the Sule Pagoda with heavy security presence. The junta-controlled TV also aired musicals performing traditional Thingyan songs in Mandalay City.
PEN America’s Freedom to Write Index showed that Myanmar jailed more writers in 2021 than any other country in the world as the junta detained at least 26 writers in 2021. According to PEN’s study, Myanmar detained the third-highest number of writers and public intellectuals globally.
Activist group Data For Myanmar said over 100 villages were partially or completely burned by the junta since January 2022, destroying more than 5,500 civilian buildings, as the junta tries to suppress opposition to last year’s coup.
The United States announced that President Joe Biden will meet the leader of Southeast Asian nations on 28- 29 May 2022. The summit was supposed to take place on 28- 29 March 2022 but was then postponed without new dates.
As of 15 April 2022, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) recorded that 1,756 people have been killed by the junta since the coup. There are 10,238 people currently under detention. There are 100 people who have been sentenced to death while 1,976 people are evading arrest warrants.
Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL)
18 April 2022, 11:30 a.m. (Bangkok time)
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