Myanmar: anti-coup doctor and academic dies of COVID-19 in detentionEvent
- Initial Date
- Aug 8, 2021
- Event Description
A doctor who was detained for taking part in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) against the junta died early on Sunday morning after contracting Covid-19 in detention, a colleague told Myanmar Now.
Dr Maung Maung Nyein Tun, a 45-year-old lecturer of surgery at Mandalay Medical University, was arrested on June 13 along with his wife, Dr Swe Zin Oo, while the pair were staying at a safe house in an attempt to evade capture by the junta.
He tested positive for the virus while being detained at the Mandalay Palace interrogation center on July 19, but instead of sending him to hospital, authorities held him for two weeks at a police station as his condition worsened, the colleague said.
Police only allowed him to get treatment, at the hospital in the city’s Obo prison, on July 28, when his blood oxygen levels plummeted to 84%.
“They kept him quarantined at the No. 9 police station for two weeks. He was sharing a cell with a person who had lost his sense of smell but the junta said he was negative,” the colleague said.
“They didn’t send him to the hospital even when his SpO2 level fell. No dexamethasone injection was given either,” the colleague said, referring to a lifesaving drug used to treat Covid patients. “They only gave him some oxygen in captivity. They only sent him to Mandalay General Hospital when it was too late.”
The colleague and others repeatedly petitioned the authorities to send him to a facility better equipped to treat him, rather than the prison hospital, but to no avail.
Dr Maung Maung Nyein Tun’s mother confirmed his death on her Facebook page. He died at the Mandalay General Hospital intensive care unit at 6:38am on August 8, she said in her post.
The junta accused the doctor of having connections to both Dr Htar Htar Lin, the detained former head of Myanmar’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout, and Dr Zaw Wai Soe, the health minister of the underground Nation Unity Government.
Photos of Dr Maung Maung Nyein published in state media after his capture showed him with several bruises on his face.
Dr Swe Zin Oo, his wife and the superintendent of Mandalay General Hospital, has also reportedly contracted Covid-19 in detention. She is still being held at Mandalay Palace.
Both doctors were charged under section 505 of the Penal Code for incitement, section 124 for sedition and section 17 for unlawful association on June 14.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Rights Concerned
- Right to health
- Right to life
- Pro-democracy defender
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 8 August 2021, Dr Maung Maung Nyein Tun, academic and pro-democracy defender, died of COVID-19 while in detention as police denied him proper treatment in Mandalay, Myanmar.