Detained Suu Kyi lawyer dies of Covid-19

Bangkok Desk, Jul 20 (EFE).- Nyan Win, a lawyer who defended Myanmar’s deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi during her years of house arrest, died on Tuesday of Covid-19 while under detention by the military junta, according to local media reports.

The 79-year-old, one of the leading members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party, contracted the virus in the Insein Prison in Yangon, where he was sent by the military after the coup it staged on Feb. 1.

Nayn Win died on Tuesday morning while receiving treatment at the Yangon General Hospital, where he was transferred last week from prison after his health deteriorated, his lawyers told The Irrawaddy online newspaper.

The authorities had ordered the provisional arrest of the Myanmar lawyer after accusing him of sedition for his opposition to the seizure of power by the military that ended Myanmar’s incipient transition to democracy.

The country, which has been plunged into a deep political crisis as a result of the military coup,is facing its worst wave of infections and deaths during the pandemic amid a collapse of the health system, lack of oxygen supply and distrust of the military.

Other people in Insein Prison, including American journalist Danny Fenster and Australian economist Sean Turnell, also fear they are infected or are displaying symptoms of the virus.

Health authorities reported 5,189 new Covid-19 cases and 281 deaths on Monday — the highest daily death toll since the start of the pandemic — taking the total to 234,710 infections and 5,281 deaths.

However, Myanmar medical associations say that these figures do not reflect reality given a precarious health system that is completely overwhelmed and crematoria working on a piecemeal basis.

Five-and-a-half months after the military coup, the junta has still not managed to take control of the entire country despite brutal repression of dissidents.

At least 919 people have been killed as a result of the crackdown by security forces, according to the latest data from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

Since the coup, the security forces have detained 6,830 people, according to AAPP, including Suu Kyi, who spent more then 15 years under house arrest between 1988 and 2011.

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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