08/03/2022, 14.52
MYANMAR
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Political prisoners go on hunger strike in a Yangon prison over dissidents’ execution

Prisoners at the notorious Insein prison also held silent strikes in protest against the junta. More than a hundred people sentenced to death now fear more hangings. Two people died and at least nine were injured in an explosion and shooting in a town on the border with China.

Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Many prisoners held at Insein prison have begun a hunger strike to protest over the death of four pro-democracy activists executed by Myanmar’s military junta last month, independent news website The Irrawaddy reports.

On 1 February 2021, Myanmar’s military ousted the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup. Since then, a civil war has broken out across the country.

On 25 July, state media announced that four prisoners sentenced to death had been executed despite criticism from abroad.

Now political prisoners fear that this could be repeated. According to a prisoners’ rights group, 119 anti-regime activists have been sentenced to death by the military regime, 42 in absentia.

Recently, inmates in Insein prison have staged protests, including silent strikes and ignoring staff, demanding action by the international community.

Meanwhile, as the civil war rages across the country, people continue to die. Two people lost their life yesterday and at least nine were wounded following an explosion and shooting in Muse, a town in Shan State on the border with China. No one claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Myanmar’s anti-junta resistance includes the People's Defence Forces (PDF), an informal guerrilla group formed after the coup by the exiled National Unity Government, and ethnic armed groups operating for years in various parts of the country.

In Muse, several militias linked to the military vie for control of local casinos and the drug trade.

China struck a deal with the military junta whereby the latter would not station troops near the border.

The area lies in the path of a high-speed rail line that Beijing wants to build to connect its southern Yunnan province to Myanmar as part of its Belt and Road Initiative.

In 2018 ethnic rebels attacked security forces and a casino killing 19 people, including two Chinese nationals.

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