Ex-Myanmar dictator remains in hospital over Covid-19 fears
Bangkok, Aug 13 (EFE) .- Than Shwe, 88, who ruled Myanmar with an iron fist between 1992 and 2011, remained at a military hospital in Naypyitaw as a precautionary measure against Covid-19, local media reported Friday.
The former dictator, admitted along with his wife, is in good health, according to military sources cited by The Irrawaddy newspaper.
The couple is waiting to know the Covid-19 results, although they have been in hospital for about three or four days, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Myanmar is experiencing an uncontrolled wave of the pandemic with a collapsed health system and shortages in oxygen supply, adding to the deep political and social crisis since the coup by the army on Feb. 1.
Since the coup, security forces have attacked and threatened health workers who went on strike and refused to work for the military command.
At least 966 people have died as a result of the violent repression unleashed by soldiers and police, according to data from the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners, which also counts more than 7,160 people arbitrarily detained.
For nearly two decades in power, Than Shwe’s regime ruthlessly cracked down on dissent and imprisoned hundreds of opponents, including deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, before handing over power to a transitional government filled with military members that started the process toward democracy.
Despite holding elections, the army still maintained extensive control over the political and economic aspects of Myanmar before the February uprising thanks to the provisions established in the 2008 Constitution, sanctioned by the military, who ruled the country since 1962.
The current military junta justifies the seizure of power on alleged electoral fraud during November’s elections, the result of which has been annulled after the party led by Suu Kyi, who remains under arrest, won a landslide victory. EFE