Myanmar frees hundreds of detainees as Aung San Suu Kyi due in court
Myanmar freed more than 600 coup detainees from prison on Wednesday, amid fresh outrage at the junta’s brutal crackdown on protesters.
The 75-year-old Nobel laureate was due to have a court hearing on Wednesday in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw, on criminal charges that could see her permanently barred from political office.
But her lawyer Khin Maung Zaw said the hearing was adjourned until April 1 because of problems with video conferencing caused by a junta-imposed internet shutdown.
In commercial hub Yangon more than 600 people held for protesting against the coup were released on Wednesday from Insein prison.
“We released 360 men and 268 women from Insein prison today,” a senior prison official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Lawyer Khin Maung Myint, who was at Insein prison for the hearing of two other clients, said 16 busloads of people left the jail at 10 am local (0400 GMT).
“They were sent to related police stations to go back home… Some clients called me (after) informing me of their release,” he told AFP.
Local media showed images of the prisoners on the buses flashing the three-fingered salute—a sign of resistance for the anti-coup movement—as people waiting outside the prison waved at them and returned the gesture.
Activists called for a nationwide “Silent Strike” on Wednesday, and streets were bare in the cities of Yangon and Naypyidaw.
In the southern city of Myeik, rows of dolls were set up along roads, holding up tiny signs reading “We need democracy” and “We wish for Mother Suu to be healthy.”
At least 20 children killed
There was chaos overnight in Mandalay with barricades burning, arrests, homes raided by security forces, beatings and machine guns ringing out over multiple neighbourhoods, local media reported.
Three people were killed on Tuesday including seven-year-old girl Khin Myo Chit, shot dead at her home in Mandalay, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a local monitoring group…..read more