Prisoners In Myanmar Protests Against The Junta's Failed COVID19 Response, Chants For Freedom

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Prisoners In Myanmar Protests Against The Junta's Failed COVID19 Response, Chants For Freedom

Protests against the worsening COVID19 outbreak have erupted in the notorious Insein Prison located in Yangon, Myanmar. The prison is known to hold opponents of the fascist February 1st junta takeover which toppled the country's economy, health system, and democracy.

Earlier this month, Myanmar freed more than 2,000 detainees from the prison, among them journalists and others who had allegedly been arrested on "incitement charges" for taking part in pro-democracy protests. 


Protest in Insein Prison

The protest in Insein was one of first protests of its kind since the February 1 coup. Videos recorded from outside the prison and posted to Facebook revealed protest chants from inside Insein Prison. The prisoners chanted, “End the dictatorship! Our cause! Protest, protest! Start, start! Revolution! Must prevail! 




According to AAPP (Assistance Association for Political Prisoners), the protest began within the women's detention block with prison staff members showing support. “The protest reportedly began because prisoners have not been provided with medical care, and neither have prison staff been given protection from COVID19,

Dozens of prisoners are reported to be infected or dead with the junta providing little to no medical care. Nyan Win, a senior adviser to ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, died in hospital on Tuesday after becoming infected with COVID19 in the prison.


COVID outbreak in Myanmar

Myanmar registered more than 6,000 new COVID19 infections on Thursday after reporting 286 deaths a day earlier, both record highs. Medics and funeral services say the real death toll is far higher, with crematoriums unable to keep pace, and the military has arrested dozens of doctors treating COVID19 patients. 


International response

Democracy and human rights supporters worldwide have also staged protests to call attention to Myanmar's situation. The actions also include organizing funds and aid for medical supplies, good, shelter. Others have created apps in an effort to assist in locating much needed oxygen tanks. Calls and letter writing to government representatives in outside countries also continue. Protestors inside the country also staged brave solidarity protests for the prisoners trapped by the junta, risking arrest themselves. 

Several diplomatic missions including Australia, Canada, Britain, the United States, and nine European Union member states said in a joint statement, “We urge the relevant authorities to resolve the situation peacefully and respect the basic right to proper health care for all those detained inside this and other prisons.”

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