Since the coup, Myanmar’s safety forces have arrested greater than 9,000 individuals, of whom an estimated 7,355 are nonetheless in detention, in line with non-profit group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).
In a press release, the present ASEAN chair, Brunei, stated there had been “insufficient progress” on a roadmap to revive peace in Myanmar, including the group would “give space to Myanmar to restore its internal affairs and return to normalcy.”
In response, Min Aung Hlaing blamed Myanmar’s opposition National Unity Government and varied ethnic armed teams for the continuing violence, and stated ASEAN ought to have focused them as an alternative of the junta.
“More violence happened due to the provocations of terrorist groups,” Min Aung Hlaing stated in a speech Monday. “No one cares about their violence and is only demanding we solve the issue. ASEAN should work on that.”
The feedback, made on state tv, are Min Aung Hlaing’s first remarks since ASEAN’s announcement.
“The junta will continue to refuse being transparent about the individual persons released, and who remains detained,” AAPP stated in a press release. “The released ‘demonstrators’ were practicing the fundamental right to free assembly against an illegitimate coup attempt.”
Capt. Nyi Thuta, a former navy officer now combating the regime, additionally claimed the junta solely launched the prisoners as a result of Min Aung Hlaing “was kicked out of the ASEAN summit.”
“Releasing the prisoners is just to ease international pressure, not out of good intention for the people or the nation,” he stated, urging the junta to “immediately hand over power to the people.”
UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews welcomed the discharge of some prisoners, however stated it was “outrageous” they’d been detained within the first place.
“The junta is releasing political prisoners in Myanmar not because of a change of heart, but because of pressure,” he stated in a press release posted to Twitter.
Min Aung Hlaing declared himself Prime Minister of a newly fashioned caretaker authorities in August, promising to carry new elections inside two years and work with a particular envoy named by ASEAN.
Wayne Chang, Cape Diamond and Hannah Ritchie contributed to this report. Additional reporting by Reuters.