Conflicts & War

Chants ring out of Yangon prison in protest against military junta

Bangkok, Jul 23 (EFE).- Inmates of Yangon’s Insein Prison protested on Friday against Myanmar’s military junta, which has sent many of them to the jail since its Feb. 1 coup.

The chants of the inmates, many of them political prisoners, were heard on Friday morning outside the high walls of the prison and in a video posted on social media.

“The fall of dictatorship — our duty, our duty”, “to regain democracy — our duty, our duty” and “the revolution — will succeed, will succeed” echoed both inside and outside the prison.

Witnesses saw trucks loaded with soldiers arrive at the jail, Khit Thit Media reported.

The military junta said Wednesday it would release some prisoners who were charged prior to the coup for various crimes such as illegal gambling, drug offenses and prostitution, local media reported.

The junta argues that with this measure it seeks to avoid overcrowding of the prison as the country faces its worst wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, although dissident groups suggest that the move is aimed at freeing up space to arrest more political prisoners.

Medical associations say the virus is rampant across the country and is affecting a large part of Insein Prison’s population. American journalist Danny Fenster and Australian economist Sean Turnell, both being held in the jail, also fear they are infected or are displaying symptoms of the virus.

On Tuesday, Nyan Win, 78, a former lawyer and confidant of detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi and one of the leading members of her National League for Democracy party, died after contracting the virus while under detention in the prison.

Myanmar is experiencing an uncontrolled Covid-19 outbreak, linked to the Delta variant, amid a violent crackdown by the security force that has killed at least 929 people.

The military has justified the coup alleging fraud in elections held in November, in which Suu Kyi’s party repeated its resounding victory of 2015, with international observers backing the polls. EFE


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