Burma

Myanmar Junta Transfers Over 120 Political Prisoners from Mandalay's Obo Jail  

By The Irrawaddy 13 October 2022

More than 120 political prisoners from Mandalay’s Obo Prison were transferred to other prisons last week, according to prison sources.

Among those transferred were student leaders, democracy activists and protest leaders.

“They were transferred to different prisons to make sure they cannot establish connections with one another,” said a prison source.

The majority of them were transferred to Taung Lay Lone Prison in Taunggyi, southern Shan State. They were moved out of Obo Prison in 10-wheeled trucks around 11 p.m. on October 7.

A family member of one political prisoner said: “It is easy and convenient for us to send [food] to prisons in town. It is a violation of human rights to transfer these prisoners to remote prisons. It is impossible to send [food] bimonthly now, and it will even be difficult for us to send food once a month or every two months. And we are struggling to make ends meet.”

88-Generation student U Dein Daung, Mandalay protest leader Ko Myat Thu, poet Ko Shar, and striking medical doctor Ye Hein Aung from Patheingyi Hospital were among the prisoners transferred to other prisons, according to Spring Mandalay, an anti-junta group based in Mandalay.

Also transferred were Ko Naung Htet Aung, the ex-chairman of Yangon University of Education’s Student Union who staged a hunger strike against executions and torture in prison, and teacher Aung Naing Thu.

Former political prisoner U Tun Kyi said: “The regime harbors grudges against political prisoners and is taking revenge against political leaders including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Win Myint as well as activists and students.

The regime has dispersed political prisoners because it fears they might rally if large numbers are kept in a single prison, he said.

“The regime can only abuse us physically, they can’t imprison our revolutionary spirit,” added U Tun Kyi.

The regime also moved around 100 political prisoners from Obo Prison in the last week of September.

In April, the regime transferred over 100 political prisoners from Monywa Prison to Minygan and Obo prisons. Ousted Sagaing Region chief Dr. Zaw Myint Naing and other political prisoners were transferred from Monywa Prison to Myingyan Prison in Mandalay’s Myingyan in August.

Since last year’s coup, 12,623 people have been detained for resisting the junta, with 1,531 of them given prison sentences, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

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