Veteran of 1988 uprising Ko Jimmy is in ‘intensive care’ at military hospital following arrest 

Veteran pro-democracy activist Ko Jimmy is in intensive care after he was detained during a raid on Saturday night in Yangon, according to a source close to the military hospital where he was admitted.

Ko Jimmy, whose real name is Kyaw Min Yu, has been sent to the Defence Services General Hospital in Mingalardon Township, the source told Myanmar Now on Monday on condition of anonymity. 

“I am told his condition is not good and is worrying,” said the source, who was unable to give further details about Ko Jimmy’s injuries. 

Ko Jimmy was arrested when regime forces raided a house where he was staying at the Pinlon Housing complex in Yangon’s North Dagon Township on Saturday night. 

The pro-military news outlet People Media reported that several people, including Ko Jimmy, were arrested during the raid, but his wife Nilar Thein said only he was detained.

The military issued an arrest warrant for the 52-year-old activist on February 13, accusing him of inciting unrest and threatening “public tranquillity” for writing social media posts critical of the military’s coup earlier that month. 

At the same time, the junta issued a warrant for Min Ko Naing, another prominent veteran of the student-led uprising of August 1988.

Since February, Ko Jimmy has moved from one place to another to avoid arrest while participating in the latest uprising, Nilar Thein said. She was not at the house during the raid and has not seen him since the coup, she added. 

While trying to escape on Saturday, Ko Jimmy injured himself when he fell from a fence lined with barbed wire and another man who was also running from the junta’s forces fell on top of him, Nilar Thein said. The man who fell on Ko Jimmy managed to evade arrest, she added. 

She believes junta forces inflicted even worse injuries on Ko Jimmy after he was detained and that this is the reason his condition is now so bad.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Nilar Thein said she feared for her husband’s life and that the military council must take responsibility for everything that happens after his arrest.

Ko Jimmy, who is also a writer, was imprisoned in 1988 for his role in the uprising and remained behind bars until 1996. In 2007, following the Saffron Revolution, he was arrested again and held until 2012.

As of Sunday, Myanmar’s military junta has arrested a total of 9,175 opponents of the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. Of these, 7,016 are still in regime custody.

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