The civilians who were abducted and tortured by the Myanmar Army said that they are suffering from severe depression and continuous mental illness after their release and are living in constant fear of rearrest. This came as thousands of people were arrested after the Myanmar military junta overthrew the democratically elected government in the country in February, Radio Free Asia reported.
These detainees said that the ‘experience’ has left them severely traumatized. “They tore my shirt off … and then hit me on the chest and arms with batons. When I covered my face, about 15 of them beat me all over my body, kicking me in the neck and back,” Ko Thaw, a citizen from Myanmar’s largest city Yangon said.
“Later, while in prison, I saw some men with deep cuts to their necks who had been there for about a month but for some reason were never given any medicine,” he said. “I did not suffer as much as they did, but it upset me terribly,” Yangon said adding that he is restless and always afraid now. Just like Thaw, many other people, mostly young, were taken into custody by the junta for opposing the coup.
Ko Thaw told RFA that after more than eight months in prison, he is dealing with debilitating anxiety but have no one to turn to for help. Meanwhile, growing conflict, insecurity, COVID-19, and a failing economy, has also rendered some three million Burmese in need of life-saving humanitarian assistance across Myanmar, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said on Monday.
The country has been in turmoil since February 1, when the Myanmar military led by Senior General Ming Aung Hlaing overthrew the civilian government and declared a year-long state of emergency. The coup triggered mass protests and was met by deadly violence.
As of Wednesday, the military has killed at least 1,252 people while arresting 9,979 people in the country.