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Myanmar Military Arrests Medics For Treating Dissidents

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Myanmar’s military has arrested 18 medical workers for providing treatment to patients who were members of outlawed anti-junta groups, a state-run newspaper reported Wednesday.

During a raid on a church in Loikaw in eastern Kayah state on Monday, troops discovered 48 patients receiving treatment, seven of whom had Covid-19.

The Global New Light of Myanmar, the mouthpiece of the junta, noted that unofficial medical treatment was being provided to the injured and patients from terrorist organizations.

The organizations were not named in the report. Legal action would be taken against the 18 medics arrested.

Myanmar’s healthcare system has been on the brink of collapse since the army overthrew an elected government in a Feb 1 coup.

As a protest against the junta’s rule, many medical workers have joined a civil disobedience movement and refused to work in military-run hospitals, according to Reuters.

Human rights groups report that security forces have targeted healthcare facilities and workers.

Doctors have been urged to return to work by the military.

Several of the doctors, nurses, and nursing assistants arrested at the church had previously been charged with incitement over their refusal to work, according to the report.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which has kept track of post-coup events in Myanmar, more than 1,300 civilians have been killed and more than 10,000 arrested since the February coup.

The military has dismissed the AAPP’s data, which has been cited by the United Nations and accuses it of bias. A junta spokesman last week said 200 soldiers had been killed during the conflict.

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