Bangkok Desk, Jul 25 (EFE).- At least 20 inmates have been killed in a crackdown by Myanmar security forces against Friday’s protest at Yangon’s Insein prison, the Democratic Voice of Burma reported.
According to the local media outlet, which cites an unnamed source close to the military, the soldiers opened fire on protesters. Five women were among those killed.
The military also arrested staff at the prison, where hundreds of political prisoners are held, the outlet reported on Saturday night.
The protest began on Friday morning in the women’s annex to demand medical care amid the rapid spread of Covid-19 inside the prison, the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP) said.
Prisoners chanted against the junta that seized power in a coup on Feb. 1 and imprisoned the country’s top elected politicians, including leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Several embassies, such as that of the United States and the European Union, on Friday night in a joint statement urged the relevant authorities to resolve the situation peacefully and respect the rights to health care of those detained there and in other prisons.
In addition to the violent repression of the security forces, which have killed at least 931 people, Myanmar is experiencing an uncontrolled wave of Covid-19, linked to the Delta variant.
Health authorities, now under military command, recorded 5,657 new cases of Covid-19 and 297 deaths on Saturday, bringing the total to 264,527, including 6,756 deaths.
According to groups of doctors, the official data does not reflect the reality in the country, which has a limited daily capacity of between 12,000 and 15,000 tests among its 55 million inhabitants, added to the collapse of hospitals, the lack of oxygen and distrust of the military regime.
On Tuesday Nyan Win, 78, a former lawyer and confidant of Suu Kyi and an important figure of the overthrown National League for Democracy party, died after he contracted the virus while held in Insein.
The military justifies the coup alleging fraud in the November election, in which Suu Kyi’s party won by a landslide, and the results of which were endorsed by international observers. EFE