Wounded Myanmar Protesters Fear Arrest In Junta Hospitals
Sumaira FH 5 days ago Thu 10th June 2021 | 08:20 AM
Yangon, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 10th Jun, 2021 ) :Protesters shot during rallies against Myanmar's military regime are avoiding treatment for their wounds, fearing arrest if they visit junta-run hospitals and searching desperately for sympathetic doctors to operate on them in secret.
More than 800 people have been killed and thousands of others wounded in a running crackdown on opposition to the military regime, according to rights groups.
Maung Win Myo -- his name and others have been changed for safety reasons -- used to scratch a meagre living as a trishaw driver, ferrying people around the bustling commercial capital of Yangon.
"I can't even sleep properly at night," he told AFP, wincing on a mattress on the floor of the one-room apartment he shares with his wife and two children.
It would cost about $950 to pay for a second operation at a private hospital to set the steel in his broken bone, he said, but he will have to keep on suffering for now.
One costly visit to a private clinic has already left Maung Win Myo out of pocket.
Many others with serious injuries are scared to seek free treatment at military hospitals, for fear their wounds will betray their involvement in anti-coup protests.
"Not everyone is willing to go," Marjan Besuijen, Head of Mission for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Myanmar, told AFP.
"They fear arrest." In a report last month, MSF also said its partners in Myanmar had witnessed junta raids on organisations "providing first aid to injured protesters, and seen their supplies destroyed.
" Military hospitals are not normally open to the public but the junta has expanded their operations after many doctors walked off the job after the coup.
It has also cripped the economy and put a huge strain on the banking system.
"I tried my best to save his life," she told AFP. "Now I don't know how to survive without him." As the coup enters its fifth month -- and with customs officials among those striking -- sourcing medicine is also getting harder.
"If this lasts longer, it will impact more seriously on the patients," the doctor said, on condition of anonymity.
Sympathetic doctors put steel into her broken thumb for free, but over a month later, the injury has not fully healed.
"I used to go to work by driving a motorbike, but now I won't be able to work anymore," she told AFP.
But she also vows to go back out to protest when her hand is fully healed.
"I will go out again to fight because we must fight for our next generation and for our country until this battle ends," she told AFP.