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Fate of Political Prisoners in Hands of Myanmar President

Two local journalists for the Reuters news agency remain in custody in Myanmar after a court Wednesday refused to drop an espionage case against them. Detained since December, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo each faces the prospect of 14 years in prison unless new Myanmar President Win Myint revives a custom of pardoning political prisoners and detainees following the traditional new year festival of Thingyan, which starts Friday and runs through Tuesday. “There is no plan” for a mass pardon, Minn Htun Soe, a spokesperson for the Prisons Department under the military-controlled Ministry of Home Affairs, told VOA. “I don’t know when there will be,” he said. The department is generally tasked with identifying prisoners who are suitable for pardons before those names are forwarded to the president. The president’s office could not be reached for comment. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, or AAPP, a nonprofit advocacy group,...

 

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