Myanmar: pro-democracy health workers arrestedEvent
- Initial Date
- Oct 29, 2022
- Event Description
Myanmar’s military junta has arrested more than a dozen healthcare workers since last week on suspicion of supporting anti-coup resistance groups, according to a regime statement and sources familiar with the situation.
In a statement released on Monday night, the junta said it detained several people, including a doctor, two nurses, and a midwife, during a raid on a bus station in Mandalay’s Aungmyay Thazan Township on Saturday.
A large quantity of medical supplies, which the junta accused the apprehended individuals of planning to send to members of the anti-regime People’s Defence Force (PDF), were also seized, the statement said.
The arrested healthcare workers were identified as Dr. Min Zaw Oo, of the Mandalay University of Medicine’s Surgery Department, nurses Zin Mar Win and Yoon Nandar Tun, and midwife Poe Thandar Aung.
All four were said to be taking part in a nationwide strike by healthcare workers against the regime that overthrew Myanmar’s elected civilian government in February 2021.
A woman named Kyi Thadar Phyu and three bus station employees were also detained in the raid, according to the statement, which also named more than a dozen other doctors and nurses described as being “still at large.”
The raid came two days after nearly 5 million kyat ($2,365) worth of medicine and other supplies, including an anaesthesia machine, were seized from a truck travelling on the road between the towns of Pale and Gangaw, west of Mandalay.
According to a source within Mandalay’s healthcare community, at least nine other medical workers have been arrested in the city in recent days.
One was Dr. Moe Thidar Linn, of Mandalay’s Otorhinolaryngology Specialist Hospital, who was among those the regime said in its statement were wanted by the authorities.
“I don’t want to say any more about it. It’s just sickening. I don’t think Mandalay has any more anti-regime doctors who are still free,” said the source, who declined to identify the others who were reportedly apprehended.
Employees of public hospitals were among the first civil servants to join the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) in protest over last year’s coup. Many prominent medical professionals joined the anti-regime movement, including Dr. Maung Maung Nyein Tun, a 45-year-old lecturer at Mandalay Medical University, who was arrested in June last year and who died of Covid-19 in detention about two months later.
As part of its crackdown on striking hospital employees, the regime has also revoked the licenses of medical practitioners taking part in the CDM.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Freedom of assembly
- Freedom of expression
- Right to liberty and security
- Right to Protest
- Pro-democracy defender
- Armed forces/ Military
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 29 October 2022, at least four pro-democracy health workers who used to take part to anti-coup demonstrations and treat those injured in Mandalay, Myanmar.