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ICC NOTE: On one hand, Myanmar’s new government releases political prisoners in an effort to follow what Aung San Suu Kyi considered to be a priority. On the other hand they continue to arrest and sentence individuals who are either in connection with or merely are in the vicinity of the various ethnic rebel groups. Whether the charges are legitimate or not, it is an example of the continued pursuit in quelling the bordering ethnic minorities pursuit of autonomy. To make matters worse as it has been reported by various news outlets including Radio Free Asia, the Kachin people and other ethnic minorities are in large part also ethnically Christian. As Myanmar is a majority Buddhist nation, the minority Christian and Muslim population have been historically persecuted. Certain inroads are being made to stop religious persecution but the fact remains the Rohingya are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world and the Kachin and Karen Christians continue to face persecution from the Burmese military through rape, torture, and murder. 

04/12/2016 Myanmar (Radio Free Asia) – A Myanmar court on Friday freed 69 detained students in keeping with a pledge by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi the previous day that releasing the detainees was an urgent priority of the new government.

Most of those let go during the first round of releases were students who had been jailed for more than a year while awaiting trial for participating in a protest against national education policy in March 2015 in the central Myanmar town of Letpadan in Tharrawaddy district.

The initially peaceful demonstration had turned violent when students were beaten by police, resulting in the arrests of nearly 130 students and their supporters.

Tharrawaddy township judge Chit Myint said prosecutors decided to drop charges against all 72 detained activists, except for three of their leaders.

The trio—Phyo Phyo Aung, Min Thway Thit and Nanda Sitt Aung—are awaiting dismissals of similar charges by other courts in the commercial capital Yangon.

Mie Mie, an activist and prominent member of the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society Group, also was released.

“Some students and our colleagues remain in jail,” said Min Thway Thit. “We are not happy enough as we still have to try to win their freedom. We will try together with our people to have no political prisoners in jails.”

About 12 other student prisoners must wait until their next scheduled hearing to find out whether they too will be freed, Agence France-Presse reported.

(Full Article)