US Citizen Reportedly Freed From Myanmar
(ConservativeHub.com) – Myanmar is a nation troubled by an unstable government. Coups occur regularly, and some who end up in charge lock people behind bars as a show of power. American Kyaw Htay Oo was one of the individual targeted by the current military regime and thrown into jail, where he’s sat for the past year. But news came on November 17, when the country decided to institute a prisoner amnesty program.
Kyaw was one of the thousands released through the program. Among them were three other foreigners, including an individual from Australia, Britain, and Japan. According to Reuters, the Burma government said the move to release multiple foreigners was to show goodwill and to promote human rights. However, the outlet also notes that some are hesitant to believe that the move signals any long-term changes. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners reportedly claimed the prisoners were being used as political “bargaining chips.”
Myanmar’s military junta said it will free thousands of prisoners in a mass amnesty, including several foreign nationals whose governments had lobbied for their release https://t.co/Z4nyxkP1gu
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) November 17, 2022
Kyaw was born in Myanmar but became a US citizen later in life after serving time in prison for his activities as a protester against military takeovers of the government in the 1980s. He lived in California, worked as a botanist, and served as a Los Angeles County agricultural inspector but decided to return to his native country in 2017 when the government in the nation stabilized. With a democratically elected leader, it seemed to be on the right track, but as happens in the volatile country, the tables turned.
On September 13, 2021, police arrested and imprisoned Kyaw. Rolling Stone reported he received a seven-year sentence for “crimes against the state.” Hope came in January of this year when the US government stepped in. The US State Department said in a press statement on November 17 that Myanmar officials “wrongfully detained” Kyaw. They admitted to putting pressure on them to release the man.
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