Political Prisoners Beaten in Myanmar Junta Crackdown: Sources

At least 17 inmates, mostly political prisoners, were reportedly injured in a crackdown on unrest at Pyapon Prison in Ayeyarwady Region on Sunday.

Ko Thaik Tun Oo, a founder of the Political Prisoners Network, said sources reported that unrest started when a prison officer yelled and cursed at a political prisoner.

The prison authorities reportedly exaggerated the dispute, calling it a prison break, and called in soldiers and police officers who fired warning shots and beat prisoners.

Three inmates suffered serious injuries, including to the head, back and neck, Ko Thaik Tun Oo said. A prison officer was also reportedly injured.

“The prisoners are defenseless against armed junta personnel who tortured them,” he said.

Some media reports said the crackdown followed an escape attempt by two prisoners. But Ko Thaik Tun Oo said this was a junta lie to excuse the use of torture.

The Irrawaddy could not independently verify the reports.

The 17 injured prisoners were allegedly held in solitary confinement and are expected to face additional prison sentences.

Ko Thaik Tun Oo said police and soldiers remain inside the prison and security has been tightened.

More than 26,000 people have been detained since the 2021 coup, of which more than 20,000 remain behind bars, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

Ko Bo Kyi of the AAPP in a recent article said prison conditions are deplorable while political prisoners have staged hunger strikes and endure repeated torture and sexual harassment.

“There is corruption everywhere, and political prisoners are at the bottom of this brutal food chain, exploited by guards and criminal inmates alike,” he said while calling for the unconditional release of all political prisoners.

Irrawaddy News