Myanmar junta arrests HIV/Aids patients in Yangon

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Junta security forces arrested HIV/Aids patients at a HIV care centre in Yangon on Sunday (May 2).

Three people on ART, which is medication for HIV, and nine others were arrested at the centre, which was founded and is run by elected lawmaker and National League for Democracy (NLD) member Daw Phyu Phyu Thin.

“Those who are on medication are not in good health and if anything happens to them, the megalomaniac (junta) will be held responsible. I want to say that the clock is ticking for them. Prepare to be re-payed for what you have done and are doing to every person with grudges,” wrote Daw Phyu Phyu Thin on her Facebook page.

The NLD Aids Center (NAC) was opened in 2013 in Yangon’s East Dagon Township to provide care for needy HIV/Aids patients. Two of the three patients on medication are university students and the third is an elderly person, according to a NAC staffer.

“I heard that [family members] are not allowed to visit them. They have to take their medication at 8pm every evening,” he said.

Some of the nine other people detained are striking government employees from the Yangon Workers’ Hospital who were hiding at the health care center for political prisoners, which is affiliated with the NAC.

Daw Phyu Phyu Thin served as a Lower House lawmaker for Yangon’s Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township from 2012 until she and her fellow lawmakers were removed from office after the junta’s Feb 1 coup. She is also a member of the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), a body representing NLD lawmakers elected in the 2020 general election.

The junta has opened a number of cases including high treason against the long-time HIV/Aids activist. Junta security forces previously raided Daw Phyu Phyu Thin’s office in Mingalar Taung Nyunt in March.

This article was first published on The Irrawaddy.

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