At least 110 political prisoners in Myanmar who were detained for opposing the military coup and freed earlier this month following a supposed amnesty were rearrested shortly after their release, according to figures compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).
In a statement on October 21, the AAPP said some people had gone into hiding after being released from prison because the military regime is attempting to rearrest them, with the advocacy group adding that the number of political prisoners who were rearrested could be higher than the figures it had been able to verify.
The AAPP said “some were even released then cynically re-arrested as soon as they arrived home. Some others were told they were on the released list, taken to the jail entrance, only to be taken back to prison in the face of additional charges.”
“These actions, of re-arresting soon after supposed released, having met with family for some hours or even arriving at jail gates only to be taken back to prison, are a form of physical and mental torture, not only to the political detainees, but their families,” the group added.
The military-led State Administration Council (SAC) announced on October 18 that more than 5,600 people arrested or rendered fugitives of the law for their anti-regime activities would be granted amnesty. But not long after, reports of rearrests began to emerge.
“We, AAPP, condemn these cruel acts committed by the military junta. We also urge the immediate release of Burma’s elected President, State Counsellor, and all political detainees. AAPP will continue our efforts against the military perpetrated arbitrary detentions, torture, and barbaric killing,” the rights group said in its statement, urging the international community to also put pressure on the SAC regime.
At least 1,186 people have been killed and 9,151 arrested in Myanmar security forces’ crackdowns on anti-regime opposition since the February 1 coup, according to a press release from the AAPP on October 22.