Most prisoners released from Mandalay’s Obo Prison under a presidential amnesty this week were former soldiers, along with a handful of Chinese nationals.
Altogether 26 prisoners, including 17 soldiers, six civilians, two Chinese and one elderly prisoner were released from Obo Prison on Thursday, November 15.
“I’m glad our punishment was reduced. I was ordered to serve a three-year sentence for violating military discipline. I had to stay behind bars for a year,” said Ko Zaw Zaw Linn, who was previously from a military medical unit.
One of the two Chinese prisoners, Tan Chain Hsu, 49, was sentenced to 20 years prison for drug-related offences in January 2000. Meanwhile, Chin Kyone Shwin, 23, received a 12-year sentence for drug and immigration offences in October 2007.
According to a statement issued by the President’s Office on Wednesday, November 14, 452 prisoners were released from jails around the country.
Those released must serve the rest of their sentence if they are convicted of another crime, as per section 401(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
“I was sent to jail for stabbing my husband to death. I really appreciate being released,” said Daw San San Myint, 72.
Another 11 people were released from prisons elsewhere in Mandalay Region, including three from Myingyan, five from Yamethin and three from Meiktila.
“I think my husband should have been released earlier. I didn’t cry when my husband was sent to jail but now tears are rolling down my face because of happiness,” said Daw Tin Tin Mar, wife of a prisoner released from Obo Prison.
No political prisoners were released, and an official from the political prisoner network said 44 remain behind bars in Obo Prison.
Translated by Thiri Min Htun