Myanmar Junta Issues Arrest Warrants Against Doctors

Myanmar protesters demonstrate peacefully in Mandalay on Wednesday.
Myanmar protesters demonstrate peacefully in Mandalay on Wednesday. (AFP)


Doctors who are urgently needed to fight the Wuhan virus pandemic are now being arrested in Myanmar. The protest continues.

Two and a half months after the military coup in Myanmar, numerous people again protested against the new junta on Wednesday. There were major rallies in the cities of Mandalay and Monywa in the north. Many people are currently boycotting the traditional Thingyan New Year festival, which lasts until Friday. Instead, there are demonstrations and protests against the generals in the Southeast Asian country. The army tries to suppress any resistance with massive force.

According to estimates by the prisoners' aid organization AAPP, at least 714 people have been killed since the coup, including around 50 children. More than 3,000 June opponents are in custody. The military leadership has meanwhile issued arrest warrants against 20 doctors, some of whom are prominent representatives of the health system in the fight against the coronavirus. Many doctors have refused to work in state-controlled hospitals since the coup and have worked underground.

I am happy about the large crowds that came together in Mandalay and Monywa today, said Ms Kyaw Kyaw, a resident of Monywa. It shows that, despite the brutality of the military, we will never give up, she added. There is no reliable independent information on how many people take to the streets in a country with more than 54 million inhabitants. The Internet has been blocked by the military only at night but recently they started to cut it also during the day.

UN warns against a spiral of violence

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, warned on Tuesday of possible parallels with the situation in Syria before the outbreak of the civil war in 2011. At that time, the military reacted to peaceful protests with unnecessary violence in Syria as well. Then the country would sink into a spiral of violence. The international community must ensure that the deadly mistakes that were made with Syria at the time are not repeated, said Ms. Bachelet.

Myanmar, the former Burma, had only introduced tentative democratic reforms about ten years ago after a decade-long dictatorship. There have been daily nationwide protests since the February 1st coup. The protesters are demanding the reinstatement of the government of Ms Aung San Suu Kyi. The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate is under house arrest.

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