More than 130 anti-coup activists transferred from Insein Prison to other jails 

More than 130 political prisoners, including student activists, have been or are due to be transferred from Yangon’s Insein Prison to jails in Bago Region, family members and lawyers have told Myanmar Now. 

Thirty women and 100 men charged with incitement under Section 5050a are due to be sent to Bago’s Daik-U Prison, said a lawyer who would like to remain anonymous. He added that another group has been transferred to Thayawady Prison. 

“I don’t know the exact numbers but I know that all of them are political prisoners,” he told Myanmar Now.

Among those sent to Daik-U is Aung Hpone Maw, a central executive officer of the University of Yangon Students’ Union, as well as Sitt Naing, a member of the same union.

Lay Pyay Soe Moe, a central executive officer of the union, was transferred to Thayawady Prison, family members told the union. 

The three were arrested along with scores of others at an anti-coup protest in Tamwe in March last year. They attended court hearings presided over by judge Mon Myat Thu inside Insein Prison for almost a year. 

Lay Pyay Soe Moe was tortured and put in solitary confinement for taking part in a protest inside Insein Prison in July, according to a firend who cted prison sources. 

Aung Kaung Sett, chair of the ​​University of Yangon Students’ Union said moving detainees to other prisons was a way of separating them from friends and other activists.

“This is to emotionally torture the political prisoners,” he said. “They did this because they’re scared of student leaders and political prisoners rallying inside the prison.” 

Wai Yan Phyo Moe, the jailed vice chair of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), was not among those transferred from Insein, a family member said 

“I think it’s because he still has ongoing cases,” the relative said. Wai Yan Phyo Moe is scheduled to receive a sentence on Wednesday. He has also been tortured in detention and put in solitary. 

He was severely injured in his neck and ribs after he was brutally beaten in late 2021, but was denied medical attention, according to the family member and the lawyer.

The family member said that moving prisoners will make it hard for relatives to send letters and packages to the detainees, and fears that Wai Yan Phyo Moe might be moved soon: “I’m very worried about losing contact with him.” 

Aye Aung, a former political prisoner and ABFSU student leader who joined anti-junta protests in the 1990s and was arrested again at the Tamwe rally last March, was also transferred to Thayawady Prison, the lawyer said.  

Thuta Soe of the Yangon University of Education Students’ Union, another activist arrested at the March rally, was transferred to Kyaikmaraw Prison in Mon State, the lawyer added, citing his family members. 

More than 13,000 people have been detained by the junta for protesting the coup, while over 1,700 civilians and activists have been murdered by regimes forces. 

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