Myanmar freed more than 2,000 detainees on Wednesday, among them journalists and others who the ruling military said had been held on incitement charges for taking part in protests, local media reported.
The release was described by some activists as a ploy by the ruling military to divert attention from an ongoing security crackdown.
The army has been under pressure from Western countries and Myanmar’s neighbours to release thousands of people detained during protests since it ousted the elected government of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1.
Many of the military’s opponents have been held, some convicted, under a law that criminalizes comments that could cause fear or spread false news and is punishable by up to three years in jail. Suu Kyi is on trial for a similar offense, among others, and remains in detention.
Military spokesman Zaw Min Tun said most of those freed had been charged with incitement for joining protests.
“A total of 2,296 people have been released. They took part in protests but not in leading roles. They didn’t participate in violent acts,” he told the Irrawaddy news site.