Army Chief’s special concession leads to release of 20 May 9 accused

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Army Chief’s special concession leads to release of 20 May 9 accused

RAWALPINDI, APR 8: In a move seen as a goodwill gesture before Eidul Fitr, 20 people previously detained by the military in connection with the May 9th and 10th riots have been released.

The releases were reportedly granted as a special concession by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir ahead of the Eidul Fitr holiday.

Attorney General Mansoor Usman Awan confirmed the releases in a report submitted to the Supreme Court on Monday.

The report detailed that all 20 individuals had been sentenced to one year in prison with hard labor. Eight were from Rawalpindi, three from Lahore, five from Gujranwala, three from Dir, and one from Mardan.

Significantly, the report highlights that none of the individuals had completed their sentences. Their release is attributed to a special concession granted by the Army Chief ahead of the upcoming Eid holiday.

All the convicts were granted release on April 6 and 7, as per the report. Although none of the convicts had completed their sentences, the army chief granted a concession for their release before Eid.

The May 9th and 10th riots were a tumultuous period in Pakistan, sparked by the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan. The violent demonstrations resulted in damage to government and military property.

The detentions and subsequent trials have been a source of contention, with some questioning the legality of holding civilian suspects in military courts.