Burma

One Killed, Five Injured as Myanmar Junta Quells Prison Protest

By The Irrawaddy 4 April 2022

Myanmar’s junta has killed at least one inmate and injured five others in the notorious Monywa Prison, Sagaing Region, after a protest broke out.

Political prisoners and other detainees in Monywa on Sunday evening staged a loud protest against human rights violations and torture at the prison which holds nearly 1,000 inmates, most of whom are political detainees. Prominent protest leader Wai Moe Naing and ousted regional chief minister Dr. Myint Naing are both held at Monywa.

Anti-regime slogans, like “We are united, our people”, could be heard, residents told The Irrawaddy.

Military vehicles entered the compound and around 30 shots were heard, sources said.

Anti-regime activist Ko Than Kyaw Oo of the Monywa People’s Strike Committee confirmed an inmate’s death and five injuries with gunshots.

He said junta troops removed prison staff and took control of the jail, interrogating detainees about the protest through the night.

“Junta forces tortured detainees. I am worried for my comrades and other political prisoners as we have heard nothing,” the activist told The Irrawaddy. 

Ko Than Kyaw Oo said the protest, despite the threat of harsh punishments, stresses how badly political prisoners are being treated. 

“They refused to accept injustice despite knowing they are inside the junta’s hell. I respect their courage and urge people outside the jail to get involved in the revolution,” the activist said. 

Monywa detainees have joined the general strike by defying the junta inside Monywa, he said.

Protests have been held at other prisons and detention centers and the junta has responded with beatings, shootings, denial of medical treatment and enforced isolation. 

On March 15, seven Kale prison inmates in Sagaing Region, including Van Dam, a Chin National Defense Force member, were killed and more injured. The regime said they were shot when Van Dam led around 50 prisoners in a prison break, taking three prison officers hostage.

The junta claimed prison guards only shot at the prisoners’ legs but the regime’s photos showed some victims were shot in the head and chest.

The junta has not mentioned Sunday’s incident in Monywa.

Since last year’s coup, the junta has killed at least 1,723 people and detained more than 13,000, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

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