Prior to the Myanmar New Year Thingyan Festival, 1,883 prisoners who have observed the rules and behaved well in various prisons and detention camps had their sentences reduced in order for them to be released yesterday morning, and included 453 from Insein Jail.
Ko Myint Oo, who served 16 months of a one-and-half-year sentence for a traffic accident said he only recently received news of his early release and hadn’t yet told his family.
“With reductions, my term is almost complete, but even a few days of an early release means an earlier reunion with my family. My family didn’t know about my release and I still don’t know how I can return back to my home town”, he said.
U Myo Yan Naung Thein, the secretary of the NLD Central Committee for Research and Strategy, who was sentenced for six months for defaming the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services on a social media site (Facebook) under section 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law, was also released.
“I was sentenced for six months and had served 5 months and 7 days. I was released when my term is only days away from completion with reductions. Those remaining inside are mainly for crimes like robbery and theft. Two-thirds are under detention for drug related cases.”
Family members of the prisoners were seen gathering in front of Insein Jail yesterday afternoon after they heard the news of the government reducing the prison sentences of detained prisoners and releasing them according to Myanmar Jail Manual Section 847 and 848.
“My son was serving a sentence for a drug case. He is six months from completing his sentence. I heard that those having a few months remaining to serve were released so I come and wait. He is not out yet. As a parent, I came to see if he is included in the released prisoners”, said Daw Kyi Kyi Win from Shwepyitha Township.
Similarly 2,283 were granted special reductions and released from prisons and detention camps before last year’s Thingyan holiday.
Zaw Gyi (Panita)