Conflicts & War

Myanmar junta bans Doctors Without Borders activity in struggling city

Bangkok, Jun 10 (EFE).- Myanmar’s military junta has asked Doctors Without Borders to suspend all its activities in the city of Dawei, where security forces have violently repressed dissenters, putting more than 2,000 people with HIV at risk, the humanitarian organization reported Thursday.

“The suspension of activities could endanger the lives of many of our patients at a time when public services continue to be interrupted,” the organization said in a statement.

According to the organization, in Dawei they care for more than 2,160 people with HIV in the Myittar Yeik clinic, who without help “will have difficulties accessing antiretroviral treatment,” and patients with tuberculosis and other diseases.

The organization, which has been operating in Dawei for more than two decades, said the suspension of its activity represents a “risk of further transmission” of the diseases and has asked the regional authorities to inform it of the reasons for the decision.

“Until now our activities have not been interrupted despite the political instability affecting Myanmar,” the organization said, referring to the Feb. 1 military coup and the popular opposition against the military.

Doctors and health workers were among the first to join the Civil Disobedience Movement, which has confronted the military junta.

As a result of this opposition, which has paralyzed almost all the country’s public hospitals since February, the army has arrested and imprisoned dozens of health workers.

Dawei, birthplace of military junta leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, has recorded some of the most violent episodes during the repression by security forces against the peaceful demonstrations in rejection of the coup.

At least 858 people have died since the coup due to the brutal repression ordered by the military junta, according to figures from the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners, which also counts more than 5,800 detainees since the uprising.

The Myanmar Army justifies the coup on alleged electoral fraud in November’s elections, in which the party led by deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi won a landslide victory, as it did in 2015, and which were considered legitimate by international observers. EFE


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