Myanmar Political Prisoners Punished For Marking July Executions

By The Irrawaddy 3 November 2022

Political prisoners in Yangon, who marked three months since the executions of four pro-democracy activists, were beaten and four organizers put in solitary confinement, according to prison sources.

The memorial service for veteran democracy activist Ko Jimmy, former National League for Democracy lawmaker Ko Phyo Zeya Thaw and activists Ko Aung Thura Zaw and Ko Hla Myo Aung was held in Insein Prison on October 23 while parcel drop-offs and trials were suspended following a bomb explosion last month.

“Four organizers were placed in solitary confinement. Seventeen others were reportedly beaten by fellow inmates and staff,” said a lawyer representing political detainees in Insein.

It is unclear if the four, identified by volunteers helping political prisoners as Ko Ye Yint Ko, Ko Ye Yint Bo, Ko Wathone San and Ko Han Thar, have been released from solitary confinement.

Those who participated in the memorial were beaten by prison staff and criminal inmates, shackled and made to take part in forced labor, according to political prisoners.

Analysts said the punishments were ordered by the regime.

In Myanmar’s first use of capital punishment for more than four decades, Ko Jimmy, Ko Phyo Zeya Thaw, Ko Aung Thura Zaw and Ko Hla Myo Aung were hanged on July 23 without the knowledge of their families.

Despite beating, torture and other forms of rights abuses, political prisoners across the country continue to oppose the regime.

Around 16,016 people have been arrested since the military seized power in February 2021 with 12,806 in detention on October 31, according to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.