OREANDA-NEWS. The military junta in Myanmar announced the release from prison of more than 5,600 opponents of the regime. This was reported by state television on Monday, October 18. At the same time, the authorities accused the opposition of inciting unrest in the country. According to junta leader Min Aung Hlaing, the amnesty was announced «for humanitarian reasons».

The release of the prisoners came a day after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) decided to exclude representatives of the junta from the lists of participants in the upcoming summit of the organization. The event will be held from October 26 to 28. Instead of members of the military government and the opposing underground Government of National Unity (PNE, NUG), a representative of Myanmar, who does not belong to any of the groups, will take part in the summit. Thus, ASEAN emphasizes neutrality to the internal political conflict. The organization justified its decision by the fact that the junta did not fulfill the plan for national reconciliation in the country developed in April.

The release of prisoners is definitely not evidence of a change in the nature of the ruling regime, but was done only under international pressure, says the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews. Repressions against people fighting for civil rights continue in the country.

The military coup in the country took place in February 2021. The current government was dispersed, the President of the country, Win Mnin, was arrested. The opponents of the junta went underground and began fighting the anti-democratic regime by organizing a protest. On September 7, the government underground called on the people of Myanmar to a nationwide uprising.

According to activists and the United Nations, security forces have killed more than 1,100 people since the coup. The Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners claims that more than 7,300 people across the country are currently behind bars.