Burma

Ousted Mandalay Chief Minister in Intensive Care with COVID-19

By The Irrawaddy 16 August 2021

Myanmar’s detained National League for Democracy (NLD) vice-chairman Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, who is also Mandalay Region’s chief minister, is in intensive care with COVID-19 in Mandalay.

The veteran politician, who also has blood cancer, contracted with COVID-19 in Obo Prison where he has been held by the regime since the Feb. 1 coup.

A relative told Mizzima News that Dr. Zaw Myint Maung told his son he was coping calmly despite being on oxygen support.

The regime has brought several charges against Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, accusing him of bribery, incitement and violation of COVID-19 regulations.

He was jailed for 19 years for his political activism under the previous military regime. After his release in 2009, he became a member of the NLD’s Central Executive Committee.

He ran successfully in the 1990 general election, the 2012 by-election and the 2015 and 2020 elections, always representing the NLD in Mandalay.

After the coup, the regime detained and charged the majority of NLD’s leadership, who face long prison sentences.

While most of the senior NLD members are on health medication, were denied bail and forced to remain in crowded prisons as the country is gripped by a fresh wave of COVID-19.

State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s long-time personal lawyer U Nyan Win died of COVID-19 on July 20 while in detention. The 79-year-old was arrested on the morning of the coup and held in Insein Prison, where he caught coronavirus.

U Nyunt Shwe, the NLD’s Bago Township chairman, also died of COVID-19 during detention on Monday. He was known for his passionate work for constituents and won his Bago seat in the 2015 and 2020 general elections.

U Nyunt Shwe, National League for Democracy chair in Bago Township.

In response to U Nyunt Shwe’s death, the Bago NLD executive committee said, instead of containing coronavirus inside prisons, the regime is using it as a weapon against opponents.

Two detained other senior NLD members, U Kyaw Ho and U Han Thar Myint, were also infected with coronavirus in Insein Prison in Yangon last month and taken to hospital.


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