Myanmar Political Prisoners Crushed into Warehouse for Celebrating Suu Kyi Birthday

By The Irrawaddy 21 June 2022

More than 100 political prisoners were locked in a putrid fish-paste warehouse in Mandalay’s Obo Prison for celebrating Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s 77th birthday on Sunday, causing vomiting and dizziness.

Female prisoners made offerings by wearing new clothes, thanatkha (face paint) and flowers. Male prisoners held a football match and played chinlone (cane ball) to mark her birthday.

On Monday, the prison authorities locked large numbers in the prison’s fish-paste warehouse while they waited for trials inside the prison. Many vomited and suffered from dizziness, according to a relative.

“Around 30 people vomited and were dizzy because of the smell. Families feed them but some still cannot eat. Some were held in the warehouse the whole day because their trials were held late,” said the relative.

Obo is notorious for oppression. Political prisoners were tortured and beaten in early June for arguing with prison guards and that is why some were held in the fish-paste warehouse, according to a Mandalay lawyer.

“Some were there because news of the beatings leaked out of the prison and others for celebrating Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday. The prison authorities think the news spread from the prisoners and lawyers,” said the lawyer, who asked not to be named.

Political prisoners in Monywa celebrated the deposed state counselor’s birthday with offerings and prayers for an end to military dictatorship.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s 77th birthday was celebrated in the United States, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Norway and Sweden. Resistance forces also celebrated across Myanmar.

Obo prisoners were beaten on her 76th birthday last year for shouting and praying for her.

Deaths have been reported in Obo, Insein, Monywa and Hpa-An prisons.

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