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Political prisoners claim torture taking place in Magway prisons

Seven political prisoners in Magway’s Pakokku Prison were tortured in late October, Monywa Strike Committee told DVB. The political prisoners are alleging they were beaten, electrocuted, and locked up for two days without being allowed to eat or sleep. 

“The seven political prisoners were locked up for two entire days and were not allowed to sleep at all. They were punched, kicked, and electrocuted. So far, three of them are still locked up,” said Khant Wai Phyo, a member of the committee. 

Activists speculate that the alleged torture followed a riot inside the prison on Oct. 15. It is reported that the prison authorities are planning to separate political prisoners by sending them to other prisons. According to estimates from a local politician, there are more than 5,000 political prisoners who have been detained since the 2021 coup in Magway’s two main prisons: Pakokku and Daung Nay.

“Human and prisoner rights violations are happening in almost every prison across the country. There might be orders to do this from the top-level because these acts are intentional and systematic,” added Khant Wai Phyo. The delivery of parcels to inmates has been suspended in Pakokku Prison, and goods in the prison’s shops – which are purchased by inmates – are now being sold at exorbitant prices.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) confirmed that prison staff, Burma Army intelligence officials (colloquially known as Sa Ya Pa), and the police have directly administered prisons since the coup. It has been reported that prison rules have been tightened and inmates are closely monitored in order to prevent news of violence against political prisoners from leaking to the outside world. Since the coup, a total of 12,879 people have been detained and 1,631 of them have been convicted by the junta courts, according to AAPP data as of Nov. 4, 2022.

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