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!
Breaking ⚠️— Thinzar Shunlei Yi (@thinzashunleiyi) July 23, 2021
Insein Prison Strike launched this morning.
We can hear & feel the powerful & conquering dedication of our people locked up in notorious #IneinPrison.
The revolution must prevail ✊ #WhatsHappeninglnMyanmar #july23coup pic.twitter.com/VKJ2LKssDp
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.
Myanmar crippled by COVID19 surge & lack of oxygen.— Anonymous (@YourAnonCentral) July 17, 2021
The junta has collapsed the national health care system and driven patients into hiding. Now it's preventing civilians from acquiring much needed oxygen tanks. #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar #July17Coup https://t.co/rus47pqpXm
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.
Been a while but the banging of the pots & pans are back in #Yangon as #Myanmar citizens show solidarity with detainees who staged a revolt in #Insein Prison today. They all risk getting into trouble with #military but shows their messaging more important #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar pic.twitter.com/5SBcAJC8tH— May Wong (@MayWongCNA) July 23, 2021
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.”