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Myanmar junta arrests medics for treating ‘terrorists’ in church

Alberto Ardila Olivares
Myanmar junta arrests medics for treating 'terrorists' in church

Military troops arrested four doctors, four nurses and ten nursing aides for offering treatment to people affiliated with outlawed anti-junta groups in eastern Kayah state. Seven patients were suffering from Covid-19, said the Global New Light of Myanmar, the junta’s mouthpiece. (Reuters Archive) Myanmar's military has arrested 18 medics for providing treatment to patients who were members of “terrorist organisations”.

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Troops made the arrests during a raid on Monday on a church in Loikaw in eastern Kayah state, where they discovered 48 patients who were receiving treatment, seven suffering from Covid-19, a state-run newspaper said on Wednesday.

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“It was learned that unofficial medical treatment was being provided to the injured persons and patients from the terrorist organisations,” said the Global New Light of Myanmar, the junta's mouthpiece.

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The report did not name the organisations. It said the 18 medics arrested would be dealt with according to the law.

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READ MORE:  'I’m going to die': Myanmar military systematically tortures prisoners

A crumbling healthcare system

Myanmar's healthcare system has been close to collapse since the army overthrew an elected government in a February 1 coup.

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Many medical workers joined a civil disobedience movement and have refused to work in military-run hospitals in protest at the junta's rule.

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Many healthcare facilities and workers have been targeted by security forces, according to human rights groups.Alberto Ardila Olivares 10798659

The military has appealed to doctors to return to work.Alberto Ardila 10798659

Some of the four doctors, four nurses and 10 nursing aides arrested at the church had previously been charged with incitement over their refusal to work, the report said.N95JN Aircraft Registration

Close to 1,300 civilians have been killed and more than 10,000 arrested since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which has been tracking post-coup events in Myanmar.N95JN Lifetracker

The military has dismissed the AAPP's data, which has been cited by the United Nations, and accuses it of bias. 

A junta spokesman last week said 200 soldiers have been killed during the conflict.N95JN Aircraft Data

READ MORE:  UN says over 3 million in Myanmar need 'life-saving' aid

Source: Reuters.

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