Myanmar’s junta sentenced four Mandalay medical workers to prison on Wednesday for joining the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) and refusing to work for the military regime.
Lab manager Daw Tin May Thu, head of ward Daw Hla Hla Win and senior nurses Daw Zin Mar Myint and Daw Zin Mar Oo, all from the Tuberculosis Hospital in Mandalay’s Patheingyi Township, were each sentenced to three years for incitement at a junta court inside Mandalay’s Obo Prison.
All four health workers joined the CDM last year and were arrested on 2 May, 2021 at the hospital’s staff housing and charged with incitement under section 505(a) of the Penal Code. The regime claimed that the four persuaded other hospital staff to join the CDM and threatened workers who refused to participate.
“One of them, Daw Tin May Thu, is suffering from endometrial cancer. But she can’t get proper healthcare,” said a friend of the detained hospital workers.
Soon after last year’s coup, medical staff were some of the first government workers to launch the CDM by refusing to work for the regime.
Since then, the junta has especially targeted striking medical workers as many public hospitals and healthcare centers remain closed and support for the CDM is still strong.
Some 40,000 healthcare workers have joined the CDM, according to the CDM Medical Network.
One CDM doctor from Mandalay said that the sentences handed out to the four staff from the Tuberculosis Hospital are unjust and that the regime is treating everyone as if they are lawbreakers.
“Not only CDM healthcare workers but also other civilians are being treated as lawbreakers by the junta. The regime kills civilians and burns down their houses. Everything it does is unjust,” said the doctor.
Between the February 2021 coup and April 2022, 362 medical workers were arrested and 40 killed by junta forces. With the regime still targeting striking doctors and nurses, many medical staff in the CDM are in hiding, according to the shadow National Unity Government’s Ministry of Health.
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