Myanmar to release 25,000 prisoners to mark the traditional New Year

The President office of Myanmar on April 17, has confirmed the release of almost 25,000 prisoners in an amnesty to mark the traditional New Year. No details of the crimes the prisoners were convicted of have been revealed.

President Win Myint said 24,896 people jailed across the country, including 87 foreigners, would be freed unconditionally “to bring delights to the citizens of Myanmar and taking into consideration humanitarian concerns”.

Concerns are being raised over whether political prisoners or those who have been convicted of acts of dissent against the government will be freed or not under the amnesty to mark the traditional New Year.

The release is a part of the annual event that attracted a huge crowd outside Insein prison in the commercial capital of Yangon despite the ban on social gatherings to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Myanmar’s New Year is called ‘Thingyan’ or ‘Burmese New Year’ or ‘Water Festival’ and is celebrated from April 13 to April 17 every year.

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