Myanmar’s Military Arrests Doctors for Joining and Supporting Civil Disobedience Movement

By The Irrawaddy 12 February 2021

Yangon – Myanmar’s military regime is looking to arrest doctors from government hospitals who last week launched the nationwide civil disobedience movement against the coup.

Hundreds of doctors and nurses from government hospitals in Yangon, Mandalay and other cities started the movement on Feb. 3.

The movement has gained momentum with several thousand staff from government ministries and key businesses, including banks and military-owned enterprises, joining the movement.

Early on Friday, Mandalay police without a warrant raided the home of Professor Khin Maung Lwin, the rector of the Mandalay University of Medicine, for supporting the movement.

In a Facebook live stream, the rector’s daughters showed the police trying to arrest their father but retreating after residents appeared in the street, banging pots and pans.

On Thursday night, the police also tried to arrest the medical superintendent at Aunglan Hospital in Magwe Region for supporting the hospital’s disobedience movement.

However, Aunglan residents managed to protect the superintendent from arrest.

A CCTV screenshot of a government hospital doctor who joined the civil disobedience movement in Ayeyarwady Region being arrested by police while giving treatment at a private clinic on Thursday.

Dr. Lynn Letyar, a surgeon from Lashio Hospital in northern Shan State, told The Irrawaddy on Friday that two men in plainclothes tried to find him at his house at 10pm on Thursday while he was out.

He said: “As a citizen, we have rights. They can’t arrest anyone without reason. It is breaking the law. The police are intruding into someone’s house. Trespassing is a shameful, criminal act.”

He said operations at Lashio’s government hospitals have halted as there are almost no staff at work and that the strike will continue until the elected government returns.

On Thursday, CCTV showed a doctor from the hospital in Ayeyarwady Region’s Ingapu Township being seized by police while he was treating patients at a private clinic that is providing free treatment while the government hospitals are closed.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said 241 political prisoners, including government officials, national leaders, election commissioners, political activists, monks, writers and peaceful demonstrators, have been arrested since the Feb. 1 coup.

Hundreds of thousands of people take to streets in major cities daily and residents clap, honk car horns and bang pots and pans at 8pm every night to protest against the military coup.

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