Myanmar’s military junta has released more than 600 detainees. Since early last month, they had been arrested in anti-coup demonstrations by the military, which has held the country in their grip.
“We released 360 men and 268 women from Insein Prison today,” a senior official from the Myanmar prison system in Yangon said on condition of anonymity. More than 2,800 people have been arrested since the military staged a coup on February 1 and imprisoned democratically elected government leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Despite the military’s gesture, the situation in Myanmar is getting grim. In Mandalay, security forces shot dead a 7-year-old girl on Tuesday, resulting in great widespread anger. At least twenty children are said to have died in the country due to the crackdown by the army against demonstrators.
The arrest and death figures in Myanmar come from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP). He says that the death of the 7-year-old girl still has to be independently verified. The girl is one of three deaths in Myanmar on Tuesday. AAPP has verified 275 deaths since the military coup on February 1 but warns that the actual death toll is likely higher.
An army spokesman said that only 164 Myanmarese died in the demonstrations. He called the victims “violent terrorists” at a press conference in the capital, Naypyidaw.