Burma

Political Prisoners Tortured by Myanmar Junta Troops in Karen State

By Nora Aung 10 June 2022

About 60 political prisoners in Hpa-an prison in Karen State have been tortured, according to the Hpa-an University Students’ Union, whose members are among the prisoners.

Two prisoners escaped on June 4 and the warden was fired and beatings began under the new warden, Hla Swe, on June 6.

A Hpa-an Technology University Students’ Union representative told The Irrawaddy that Hla Swe called junta troops into the prison where they used rubber bullets and extreme violence and forced over 200 political prisoners in with criminal inmates.

“They used sharp bamboo to stab the prisoners. They were denied water and food for the whole day. They also used slingshots with pebbles,” the student representative said. “No visitors are allowed and we don’t know who’s alive.”

The injured were denied medical treatment and their families were not allowed to visit.

A prisoner’s relative confirmed the reports.

Criminal inmates have also reportedly been threatening the political prisoners.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which records deaths and arrests, told The Irrawaddy that torture in prison is illegal.

“One day the prison authorities must pay for these crimes,” said an AAPP member.

On May 8 about 60 political prisoners from Hpa-an were beaten by regime forces because they sang revolutionary songs and banged pots. Four prisoners were reportedly seriously injured.

Around 14,055 people have been detained and approximately 10,998 remain behind the bars since the coup, according to the AAPP.

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