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More than 600 Burmese prisoners have been released recently in Thailand, Burma’s Deputy Home Affairs Minister Brig-Gen Kyaw Zan Myint said in parliament on Friday.
The deputy minister was speaking in response to a question by Thein Nyunt, MP of Thingangyun Township.
“I had a chance to read out in parliament a letter sent by some of these prisoners,” said Thein Nyunt. “Firstly, there are differences between the reality and what was said by the foreign minister and home minister in Parliament.
“Firstly, according to their letter, Burmese prisoners have to work harder than Thai prisoners. Burmese prisoners are not fed as well as Thai prisoners in both quality and quantity. When doing exercise, Burmese prisoners get different rights from their Thai counterparts. And another thing is that Burmese prisoners do not get the same medical treatment as the Thais.”
Since Burma achieved independence in 1948, there have been no prisoner exchanges between the two neighbours. However, Thein Nyunt said that he was going to try to revive an agreement during this parliamentary term.
Thein Nyunt said he had been told that there are about 10,000 Burmese currently detained on various charges in Thai prisons – 3,000 long-term and 7,000 short-term.
Some Burmese prisoners were expected to be released in an amnesty on 5 December, the birthday of Thailand’s king. However, due to the unstable political situation in the country, no amnesty was declared.