July 26, 2021

Burmese government-in-exile ministers heard in Senate

In a rare sign of appeasement, the Burmese junta released on Wednesday, June 30, nearly 2,300 prisoners across the country, including more than 700 from the famous Insein prison in Rangoon. Several activists and journalists are among them. All were charged under article 505-A of the penal code, a clause originally punishing defamation of the military or its members, but amended in February to sanction any statement that could “Provoke fear”, diffuser “False news, or directly or indirectly inciting to commit an offense against a government employee”. Violation of this article is punishable by up to three years in prison.

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According to lawyer Tan Zar Oo, who represents political detainees and journalists, about half of the 100 people she and her colleagues have been caring for for several months were released on Wednesday. This wave of release was confirmed by the Deputy Minister of Information, General Zaw Min Tun, who clarified that it was about “People who took part in the protests but did not take part in the violence ».

About thirty Burmese music and television celebrities imprisoned had already been released earlier this week. If the State Administration Council (SAC), set up by the putschist General Min Aung Hlaing to replace the legitimate government, acts in this way, it is because pressure is also mounting outside the country, 119 countries having voted for a non-binding United Nations General Assembly resolution on June 18 condemning the violence.

Calls for help

In addition, on the French side, a motion for a resolution on Burma inviting the government to recognize the government of national unity of Burma was tabled on May 28 at the initiative of Pascal Allizard (Les Républicains) and signed by around 150 senators from all edge – another is in preparation for assembly. Two days later, the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces Committee auditioned by videoconference several members of the Government of National Unity (NUG), formed on April 16, 2021 by personalities in exile.

The NUG seeks international recognition and multiplies appeals for help. « We must use diplomatic instruments to hold this junta to account, this is a crime against humanity. Much tougher penalties must hit the oil and gas industry ”, pleaded Zaw Wai Soe, Minister of Health and Education of NUG.

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