The victim was one of dozens of healthcare workers arrested in the city since late last month for allegedly supporting anti-regime forces
By Myanmar Now
A midwife who was arrested during a crackdown on healthcare workers in Mandalay late last month has died in regime custody, according to a doctor familiar with the situation.
Poe Thandar Aung, who was formerly employed at the Central Women’s Hospital in Mandalay, died on Monday night, said Dr. Soe Thura Zaw, who is taking part in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) against military rule.
“I heard the news from three sources. We learned this morning that Ma Poe was dead,” he told Myanmar Now on Tuesday.
Poe Thandar Aung was arrested in Mandalay on October 29 along with others accused of sending medical supplies to anti-junta forces.
Also arrested were Dr. Min Zaw Oo, of the Mandalay University of Medicine’s Surgery Department, nurses Zin Mar Win and Yoon Nandar Tun, a woman named Kyi Thadar Phyu, and three employees at a bus station in Aungmyay Thazan Township.
The arrests were part of a crackdown launched after regime forces seized nearly 5 million kyat ($2,365) worth of medicine and other supplies from a truck travelling between the towns of Pale and Gangaw, west of Mandalay, on October 27.
More than a dozen people were taken into custody in the first wave of arrests, and at least 16 more have since been detained, according to CDM sources.
“Our whole country is suffering because of a general who doesn’t want to retire. Myanmar is the only country where nurses are executed for doing their jobs,” said Dr. Soe Thura Zaw, referring to junta leader Min Aung Hlaing.
Myanmar Now has been unable to reach Poe Thandar Aung’s relatives to confirm reports of her death.
On Monday, another person taking part in the CDM named Hein Zaw Nyo wrote on social media that Dr. Min Zaw Oo had also been tortured while undergoing interrogation and was vomiting blood due to the beatings he had received.
“We don’t take up arms. We only provide medical service to the people. The military is targeting the healthcare community for defying the junta,” he wrote.
Hein Zaw Nyo’s allegations could not be independently confirmed at the time of reporting.
Since seizing power in February 2021, the military has killed 58 healthcare workers and arrested more than 700, according to Myanmar’s shadow National Unity Government (NUG).
The regime has also destroyed more than 50 hospitals and clinics and at least 40 ambulances, the NUG reported last month.