A prison official said the Myanmar military government released more than 600 protesters on Wednesday. The demonstrators were arrested for demonstrating against the military coup. Eyewitnesses saw buses filled with people as they moved away from Insein Prison.
Since the military staged a coup on February 1 and detained Governor Aung San Suu Kyi, it is estimated that between 2,000 and 2,800 protesters have been arrested. On Wednesday, a silent strike took hold of the protest, with the intention of everyone staying home and closing everything.
Most surprising was the fifteen buses that came from Insein Prison. Eyewitnesses, including lawyers and prisoners, confirmed this in a conversation with the news agency Reuters. A senior official at Rangoon Prison told the news agency France Press agency: “Today we released 360 men and 268 women from Insein prison.”
APPhotographer Thien Zhao, who was arrested last month after taking pictures of the protests, told his family that he would be released on Wednesday. 40 journalists have been arrested since February 1.
Despite the army’s gesture, the situation in Myanmar is getting worse. In Mandalay City, security forces were said to have shot a seven-year-old girl on Tuesday, sparking massive public outrage. At least twenty children are said to have died in the country as a result of the military crackdown on protesters.
Information on the number of arrests and deaths in Myanmar comes from the Association for Aid to Political Prisoners (AAPP). The organization says it has not yet independently verified the death of the seven-year-old. The association has verified 275 deaths since the coup, but warns that the actual number of dead is likely to be higher.
An army spokesman stated that 164 Myanmar died in the demonstrations. He described them as “violent terrorists” at a press conference in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw.