According to an announcement broadcast by state television this Sunday morning, 1,619 prisoners, including 42 foreigners, were “pardoned” and released throughout the day to commemorate the new year.
However, inmates interviewed as they left the prisons told news media that protesters arrested in previous months were not among those granted amnesty.
Myanmar usually grants an annual amnesty to thousands of prisoners to mark its traditional Buddhist holiday, which in previous years was greeted with popular jubilation.
This time, however, the streets of many major cities are silent as people protest against the junta that violently took power in February 2021. The Southeast Asian country has been in crisis since the military overthrew the government, triggering huge protests and a crackdown that has left thousands dead and imprisoned.