Data Matters No.14
(This article is a translation of the original Burmese language version that ISP-Myanmar posted on its Facebook page on April 20, 2022.)
According to records from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), the State Administration Council (SAC) arrested a total of 13,293 people nationwide on suspicion of treasonous, anti-coup activities; these arrests were made between February 1, 2021 and April 18, 2022. March and April 2021 saw the highest number of arrests by the SAC – 2022 continues to see further arrests on the same anti-military basis. These figures are taken from the currently available data; the true figures may be higher.
The State Administration Council (SAC) reportedly issued seven rounds of amnesties, involving approximately 57,091 detainees between February 1, 2021 and April 18, 2022. In 2021, around 23,314 were released on February 12, followed by 23,407 on April 17, 2,296 on June 30 and 5,636 on October 18. In 2022, 814 people were released on February 12, a further five were released on March 2 and 1,619 were released on April 17.
According to the available data, of the 57,091 people who were released as a result of the various amnesties, only 4,556 had been charged and detained in connection to political activities. This accounts for about 8% of the total number of detainees released via amnesty. The remaining 92% of detainees released via amnesty were not arrested or held in relation to political activities and were charged with other offenses. Based on these figures, the amnesties issued by the SAC are clearly not intended for those detained as a result of their political activities.
∎ Why does it matter?
An analysis of the number of people arrested and imprisoned since the February coup shows the SAC’s use of the pillars of justice to suppress its opponents. Studying the civilian fatalities caused by the SAC’s violent suppression of protestors offers a way to assess whether or not Myanmar’s armed forces are violating human rights. Records of the deaths of protestors are useful for researchers, human rights activists, and political actors to examine the SAC’s human rights violations from a transitional justice perspective.
∎ Other relevant readings
Independent media and independent organizations such as the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) have monitored and collected detailed data on the number of protesters who were targeted, arrested, and killed during violent crackdowns in the aftermath of the February 1 military coup. They have also documented other issues such as the way SAC’s forces have responded to anti-coup protests, and evidence of human rights and dignity violations by government officials.