A political detainee has suffered a cerebral haemorrhage and other injuries after being beaten for insulting the warden of Yangon’s Insein Prison last week, according to a prison source.
The victim, Win Htut Oo, was accused of shouting “Nyi Lay!”—meaning “little brother” in Burmese—when the warden passed to offer food to detained Buddhist monks in memory of another monk who died behind bars last Tuesday.
Several prisoners were subsequently beaten, including Win Htut Oo, who is currently serving a six-year sentence on incitement and weapons charges.
After the 40-year-old allegedly admitted to the offence, he was taken out of his cell to “meet with the warden” in his office, where he was subjected to another beating, the source said.
He was then taken away for Covid-19 testing and placed in an isolation cell, where he was assaulted a third time, including with a taser, according to the source.
“He was literally beaten to a pulp. And they didn’t just use the taser on his body—they also put it in his mouth. A whole crowd of them ganged up on him. He couldn’t even scream,” said the source, who did not want to be named.
Following this last beating, Win Htut Oo was transferred to the prison hospital to receive treatment for a broken arm and severe head injuries, the source said, adding that his current condition is unknown.
Myanmar Now has been unable to independently verify the source’s claims. Attempts to speak to the victim’s family and prison authorities regarding the incident have been unsuccessful.
In October, another detainee at the prison had to be hospitalised for a broken jaw and other injuries after being assaulted by criminal convicts.
Hlaing Nyi, the victim of that attack, was also one of 89 Insein prisoners who were brutally beaten for taking part in a Silent Strike protest against military rule late last year.
At around the same time as his more recent ordeal, 21 other political detainees in the prison were reportedly being tortured for making an offering to monks in memory of four prisoners executed by the Myanmar regime in July.
Late last month, a junta-controlled military tribunal sentenced seven students of Yangon’s Dagon University to death for allegedly murdering a retired lieutenant colonel in April.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a total of 132 people have been sentenced to death for attacks targeting the regime that seized power in February 2021.