2020 December COVID – 19 News Letter

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) has been monitoring and documenting cases related to COVID-19 Pandemic since April and releasing a monthly COVID Newsletter. According to our documentation in December, a total of (52) people have been charged and convicted in Burma during the pandemic.

As of 16 August, COVID-19 infected cases have reappeared in Rakhine State; the outbreaks have also been reported in Yangon and other states and regions. The second wave of COVID hit Yangon most, and townships in Yangon Region are now ordered to stay at home due to the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths increase highly. Up to December 31, a total of 124,630 people had been infected and 2682 had died.

Moreover, even though the COVID-19 pandemic is currently decreasing in Myanmar, prisoners and detainees are being infected with the COVID-19 virus. COVID-19 found in prisons and custodies is a difficult and uncontrollable situation. COVID-19 is currently being infected in prisons and custodies in some states and regions. This is a concern for inmates in prisons and labor camps, and the overcrowding in prisons could make it difficult to control the spread of the disease if one prisoner got infected. Therefore, authorities must stop unwanted arrests for the time being. Also, we suggest authorities need to be transparent about the real prison situation (for example: How many inmates are infected?  How are the authorities trying to prevent infection? Etc…).

The detailed information is shown below:                                     

(52) Persons have been charged under Section 25, 26, 29 and 30 (a) of the Natural Disaster Management Law for contravening the specified orders.

The quarantined and quarantines centers of each state and region of Myanmar

The number of quarantined people and quarantine centers in each state and region of Myanmar as monitored and documented by AAPP is shown in the table below:

http://mohs.gov.mm/su/jyqs4294JY

Infected with COVID19 in prisons and cells

Two members of police force and 17 detainees found infected with the COVID-19 virus in Bago Township Police Station No. 2

On 10 December 2020, 6 detainees and a wife of the police were found infected with the COVID-19 virus in Bago Township Police Station No. 2. Thereafter, some members of the police force and all detainees were tested and 2 members of the police force and 17 detainees were found infected with the COVID-19 virus, therefore, the police station was locked down until 26 December 2020 and 7 detainees who are not found infected were transferred to Inn Ta Gaw Police Custody.

Similarly, a detainee who was arrested at Bago Township Police Station No. 1 for failing to comply with the curfew was found infected with the COVID-19 virus, then all detainees were sent to a quarantine center. The quarantined detainees were tested on 15 December 2020 and 12 detainees were found infected with the COVID-19 virus. Infected detainees were taken to Bago Hospital for treatment, but they will not be treated as normal infected patients, and a separate room will be set up for them because of security.

(15 December 2020 – DVB/Burmese)

8 detainees found infected with the COVID-19 virus in Myawaddy Myoma Police Station

On 19 December 2020, 8 detainees were found infected with the COVID-19 virus in Myawaddy Myoma Police Station. Last week, after the COVID-19 virus infected one police officer, three members of the police force and three police family members, and detainees were tested. 8 detainees were found infected with the COVID-19 virus. Those infected detainees were isolated from other detainees and were being treated, said an officer from Myawaddy Myoma Police Station.

(20 December 2020 – Myanmar Times/Burmese)

 A detainee found infected with the COVID-19 virus in Pathein Township Police Station

On 23 December 2020, a detainee was found infected with the COVID-19 virus in Pathein Myoma Police Station, according to the Ayeyarwaddy Regional Police Force.

The detainee, who had been infected with the virus, had only been in police custody for a few days. The first test showed no virus, but the second test showed the virus, said a police officer Tun Shwe from Ayeyarwaddy Regional Police Force.

Members of the police force and detainees who came into contact with the infected detainee were restricted from going out or contacting family members, they were later tested for the virus. The infected detainee was a resident of Pathein who worked as a Thanakha seller and had no contact with infected people.

(24 December 2020 – DVB/Burmese)

Prisoner found infected with the COVID-19 virus

On December 27, Sagaing Region; Bamouk Township, one of the 28 convicted  detainees at the Bamouk Township Police Station was found infected with the COVID-19 virus when testing before transfer to Katha Prison. The infected convicted person was a 28-year-old man. Therefore, 64 detainees men and 8 female detainees from the Bamouk Township Police Station who came into contact with the infected convicted person were tested, but found with no COVID-19 virus.

The infected convicted person is being treated in the Isolation Ward of the Katha Public Hospital and the Bamauk Myoma Police Station was locked down.

(28 December 2020 – VOM/Burmese)

137 prisoners and detainees found infected with the COVID-19 in Ayeyarwady Region 

825 prisoners and detainees who arrive in prison and custody during the COVID-19 period and release soon from the prisons were tested and 137 prisoners and detainees were found infected with the COVID-19 virus, said Dr. Thiha Aung from the Department of Public Health of the Ayeyarwady Region. On 28 December 2020, 28 detainees from Bogalay Township were found infected with the COVID-19 virus. On 24 October 2020, 106 prisoners were found infected with the COVID-19 virus in Maubin Prison. 

(30 December 2020 – RFA/Burmese) 

Kachin

4 people punished for leaving quarantine center in Myitkyina Township without permission

Four people who were kept in quarantine center were charged with Natural Disaster Management Law at Myitkyina Myoma Police Station by the Duke Htaung Ward Administrator for going out without permission from a quarantine center of the Education College, Myitkyina Township and drinking alcohol at a restaurant on 24 December 2020. Those 4 people who are released from a prison in China.

(27 December 2020 – DVB/Burmese)

Mon

Raided KTV for opening illegally  

According to the Thaton Myona Police Station, authorities raided the Sunday KTV & Restaurant for illegally opening on the road of Yangon-Mawlamyine in Myaynigone Village, Thaton Township, Mon State on 26 December 2020 at 1 am. Found inside was a manager 52-years-old, a head waiter 27-years-old, a waiter 27-years-old, 8 girls and 10 customers, who were arrested. Those 21 people were charged under section 25 of the Natural Disaster Management law at Thaton Township Court, according to the Thaton Township Administration Office.

(26 December 2020 – The Voice/Burmese)

(26 December 2020 – VOM/Burmese)

Shan

Woman who withheld truth about trip has case filed under Natural Disaster Management Law             

On 27 December 2020, Ma Htar Htar Oo was charged under section 25 of the Natural Disaster Management Law at the Lashio Township Police Station by COVID-19 Prevention and Control Committee for withholding information about her travel history in Lashio Township, Northern Shan State.

On 25 November 2020, Ma Htar Htar Oo and her mother came back from Mandalay to Lashio Township. On 26 November 2020, her mother passed away and 245 people, including relatives and neighbors came to her mother’s funeral. After being investigated by the Department of Health, she was kept in the quarantine center and tested. On 6 December 2020, her test result was positive. On 27 December 2020, on the deadline of her quarantine she was charged, said the Chairman U Arkar Lin of the Lashio Township COVID-19 Prevention and Control Committee.

(27 December 2020 – The Voice/Burmese)

Yangon

Police Force raided The World Wide KTV in Bahan Township and arrested nine people including the manager                                                                                 

On 26 December 2020 at 11:45 pm, when police officers and Bahan Township Administrator checked the World Wide KTV in Saya San Street, Sayar San Ward, Bahan Township, Yangon Region, they found 9 people including 4 customers. The manager U Aye Tun was charged under section 25 of the Natural Disaster Management Law, 4 customers, including Aung Zaw Oo and 4 girls, including Yamin were charged under section 30(a) of the Natural Disaster Management Law. Except the manager Aye Tun, the shop manager and four other men and four women were released on bail on 27 December 2020.

Similarly, the Myst Bar & Lounge Yangon nightclub on University Avenue Street No. 1, Bahan Township, which was illegally operating during the COVID-19 period, was raided by the Rangoon Region Police and a joint team on November 7 at around 2 am, and more than 80 people were arrested.   

(27 December 2020 – Eleven/Burmese)

(27 December 2020 – Myanmar Times/Burmese)

(27 December 2020 – Mizzima/Burmese) 

Mandalay

Woman commits suicide in a quarantine center at Tabak Swel Village, Sintgaing Township

A woman, 58-year-old, who entered a Facility Quarantine Center at Basic Education High School from Tabak Swel Village, Sintgaing Township, Mandalay Region committed suicide on the morning of 4 December 2020.                                         

The woman who committed suicide had been living in the Quarantine Center since December 3 due to coming into contact with her sister who was infected with the COVID-19 virus. At around 7 a.m., she committed suicide inside the Quarantine Center classroom by hanging from the ridge pole using a wire, according to the case record.

The Palate Police Station has opened a case regarding the death and the body was taken to the Mandalay General Hospital to be tested for COVID-19 infection, according to the police force. 

(4 December 2020 – Social Media of the Mandalay In Depth News/Burmese)

In Amarapura Township, a photocopy shop charged for forging COVID-19 clearance certificate 

In Amarapura Township, Mandalay Region, a photocopy shop had action taken against it for forging COVID-19 clearance certificates and township passing cards, according to the township authorities. On December 7, in Nat Yay Kan Village Tract, Amarapura Township, authorities raided the photocopy shop on suspicion of selling fake COVID-19 certificates and township passing cards.

At a checkpoint in Kachin State, some suspicious certificates were found, so authorities contacted the Department of Health to check whether those are originals or not, and the Department of Health confirmed that those certificates are fakes. Then, authorities raided that photocopy shop and found the fake certificates and cards.

An official from the Amarapura Township Health Department has filed a case against the photocopy shop owner, 32-year-old, at the MyitNge police station.

 (8 December 2020 – DVB/Burmese)

Police arrest and shoot a man after refusing to accept checks at the COVID-19 checkpoint

On 9 December 2020, while village authorities were serving their duty at the COVID-19 checkpoint of the Thalaegon Village, Patheingyi Township, Mandalay Region, Maung Htay (aka) Nga Htay who is a resident of the Thalaegon Village arrived by motorcycle and refused to accept checks and hit the gate with his motorcycle, and beat two village authorities with an iron chair.

After the incident, village authorities complained at the Ohn Cahw Police Station and the members of the police force went to Maung Htay home’s to make the arrest. When the members of the police force arrived in front of his home, Maung Htay threw bricks, verbally abused, and attacked the police with a sword, two police members were injured. The police arrested him by shooting him with a gun, according to the police records. The responsible person of the Ohn Chaw Police Station charged Maung Htay (aka) Nga Htay under section 25/26 of the Natural Disaster Management Law and penal codes.

(9 December 2020 – Social Media of the Khit Thit Media/Burmese)

Persons who transport and unload goods in public without wearing masks or face shields charged under Natural Disaster Management Law

At a clothing store in Kyaw Kyaw Moe’s home, Pyay Gyi Kyatthayay West Ward, Aung Myay Thar San Township, Kyaw Kyaw Moe and his staffs are accused of transporting and unloading goods without wearing masks or face shields, they were hence charged under Section 25/30(a) of the Disaster Management Law at the Aung Myay Thar San City Police Station.

Residents of Aung Myay Thar San Township complained to Kyaw Kyaw Moe and his staff, and authorities warned them three times. Even with authorities warnings, they did not obey and continued in this manner without wearing masks or face shields on 10 December 2020 at 11:30 am.

(11 December 2020 – Social Media of the Ko Ko Naing/Burmese)

Bago

People who verbally abused and punched the responsible persons at the COVID-19 checkpoint, charged with not only Penal Code, but also Natural Disaster Management Law

Taungoo Township Police Station No. 2 charged 3 men, including Aung Ko Latt (aka) Min Sar under section 294, 506, 323, 114 for verbally abusing and punching a volunteer who is serving his duty at the COVID-19 checkpoint where the top of the highway road on 24 December 2020 at 9 pm in Bago Region. Moreover, they will be charged with Natural Disaster Management Law, said Taungoo Township Administrator U Tun Tun Win.

In the incident, when a man from a philanthropic organization and another man were serving their duty at the COVID-19 checkpoint at the top of the highway road, they stopped a Mark II car and checked and then quarreled with Aung Ko Latt (aka) Min Sar who was the driver. After that, Aung Ko Latt went back to his car and came back to the checkpoint with two men and then verbally abused and punched, said the leader of the philanthropic organization.

(25 December 2020 – VOM/Burmese)

Ayeyarwaddy

8 people charged for entering Maubin Township without travel documents

On 8 December 2020, 8 people who wore guerrilla outfits from Mon State were charged under section 25/30(b) of the Natural Disaster Management Law for entering Maubin Township, Ayeyarwady Region without travel documents. Authorities knew those people came due to land disputes in Kyone War Gyi Village, Maubin Township, the authorities reported this to the Regional Government then took action in accordance with the orders of the Regional Government.

Those people are known as volunteers with PVB and they have been working in land dispute cases. U Tin Win, a resident of Kyone War Gyi village, said that the group came here once in 2019. They came to our tent and forced us to leave and threatened our lives so we had to flee from the village. 

(12 December 2020 – DVB/Burmese)

People charged for holding a press conference about the Chaung Thar land dispute

On 14 December 2020, Ko Tay Zar Aung, Daw Aye Aye Aung, Ko Aung Naing Myo and U Aung Myint Wai, who held a press conference without official permission were charged under section 25 of the Natural Disaster Management Law by Police Officer Tun Tun Win of the Pathein Township Police Station, Ayeyarwady Region.

The Land Enquiry Committee of the Ayeyarwady Region, led by Prime Minister Hla Moe Aung, was inquiring within the three months on land disputes between company and land owners concerning 50 acres of land on Chaung Thar Beach. The committee made a decision that the company won this land dispute. Therefore, the four family members held a press conference in Pathein on 6 December 2020.

(16 December 2020 – Irrawaddy/Burmese)

(15 December 2020 – RFA/Burmese)

A 15-year-old girl in quarantine raped 

On 27 December 2020, a 20-years-old man raped a 15-year-old girl who was kept in a quarantine center in the Ngar Gyi Gayet Village, Son Thike Village Track, Maubin Township, Ayeyarwaddy Region, according to the Maubin Myoma Police Station.

While the girl, who came back from Dala Township, Yangon Region, was sleeping with 3 other women in the downstairs’ of the quarantine center, she heard the door knock and she opened the door and a man who was being kept in the quarantine center gagged her mouth and took her into his mosquito net, and raped her one time, according to the police records. Her family members complained at the Maubin Myoma Police Station on 29 December 2020. According to the family’s complaint, the Maubin Myoma Police Station has a case filed under Section 376 of the Penal Code.

Residents said that safety has become more important for women who have been quarantined during the current Covid-19 outbreak.

(29 December 2020 – VOM/Burmese)

For more information:

Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP)

Aung Myo Kyaw In-Charge of AAPP Yangon Office +95 (0) 428117348

Paing Yii Hmway Deputy In-Charge of Documentation and Research Department +95 (0) 997 303 1050

Download link for Covid 19 Newsletter for December 2020 COVID-19 Newsletter in December (English) Final