After nationwide protests broke out, security forces responded by shooting some protesters, arresting others and raiding the homes of alleged critics. At least 1,723 civilians were killed, according to the AAPP.
President Biden and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong issued a joint statement in Washington on Tuesday calling on Myanmar’s junta to release political prisoners, allow humanitarian access and begin the restoration of democracy. .
“The United States and Singapore share their deep concern about the situation in Myanmar and the challenges it poses to regional stability,” the two leaders said. “We continue to call for an end to violence against civilians in Myanmar, the release of all political prisoners, including state adviser Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and foreign detainees.”
US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken estimated in December that more than a million political prisoners are being held in more than 65 countries around the world.
“Every day, more people are wrongfully detained or convicted in mock trials,” he said, citing the case of Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, who was sentenced to six years in prison in December and January and faces a dozen more charges. † Mr Blinken urged countries that detain political prisoners to release them.
Though hard to come by numbers, North Korea probably holds the most political prisoners of any country, with estimates of 120,000 or more. Many are trapped in a vast network of forced labor camps expanded under the ruthless ruler Kim Jong-un. In Egypt, where military commander Abdel Fattah el-Sisi seized power in 2013, human rights groups say the regime is holding as many as 60,000 political prisoners.
In Southeast Asia, Myanmar has quickly surpassed the bleak records of its autocratic neighbors, including Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, said Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch’s deputy Asia director.