Update from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners
On 30 June, the junta prison department announced the release of over 2000 protestors arbitrarily detained since the coup.
AAPP began to diligently monitor and record these releases amid that disorder. However, in the 2 weeks since 30 June only around 400 of the releases have been identified. These supposed releases were immediately hampered by the hostility of the junta. There were not as many releases across the prisons on 30 June, and in the days since many of the supposed released remain in a torturous prison system.
The junta only announced how many prisoners were released by region or state but not how many were released from each prison, making it difficult to trace the exact number of prisoners released. The process was also beyond transparent, the junta deliberately spread misinformation about which day the prisoners would be released. It is because of the deliberate attempt to complicate oversight that there is discrepancy in the figure of recent releases.
Misleading information is a practice of this junta, in their submission to ASEAN leaders on 24 April in Jakarta, the terrorist-like SAC group alleged “A total of 9,948 persons detained from February 1 to April 15… As of now, we have 4,511 released, 5070 charged, and further 367 charged in near future”.
This was below AAPP’s identified figure as of 15 April that 4483 had been arrested since the coup and 3459 were actively under detention. Yet, AAPP has consistently identified our data as ‘at least’, detained or killed, and that our figures “will be likely be much higher” because of the conditions which led to so many of arrests across the country.
The documentation process is currently tough because of the situation
on the ground, impact of COVID- 19 is also deteriorating with limited
access to information. The military cancelled prison visits and special court hearings by reason of COVID-19, including lawyers visits to their clients,
making it difficult
for them to understand conditions inside prison. The junta has also
banned media and civil society organization including
our organization AAPP.
This intends to restrict access to accurate information simultaneously as the junta is spreading misinformation about our organization. AAPP’s documentation includes precise names and other relevant data, as such our release lists can only be updated if the specific data is obtained.
Those who were released on 30 June were primarily youths, civilians and journalists, AAPP maintains that those who remain behind imprisoned will be tortured even more severely. The organization believes with evidence of past experience that those released have been tortured and intimidated from engaging with independent media and civil society.