The military council has reopened some prisons starting today (October 24), which has been closed since the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the families of political prisoners, the prisons that have begun to allow visitors include Mandalay Obo Prison, Myankyan Prison, Tharayawati Prison, Nyaung Shwe Prison, Myeik Prison, and Pathein Prison.
The military council has not yet opened the Insein prison, where many political prisoners are held, for visitors to enter the prison. Insein Prison is likely to be reopened in the first week of November, according to a lawyer who helps political prisoners. The military council plans to allow up to 120 people a day to visit the prisons that reopened the prisons. It is also reported that the imprisoned victim and 2 family members will be allowed to meet for 20 minutes.
According to prison law, inmates are allowed to visit their families once a week. At the end of 2020, the NLD government closed prisons to control the spread of the virus. After that, the military council of the military coup continued to close the access to the prison, and it was reopened after more than 3 years.
There are many restrictions on this opening. The family who will come to visit the prison will have to show proof of having been given 2 covid vaccinations, a certificate from the ward, a certificate from the police station, which was made within a week.
A mother who tried to meet her daughter, a political prisoner who was unjustly arrested in Tharayawati Prison, said that she was allowed to see the prison letter with that information. “There are people who have been waiting since the early hours of the morning because they don’t have the papers they asked for,” said the mother of a political prisoner.
In addition, those who have been sentenced to death and those who have been sentenced to life imprisonment have not yet been allowed to enter prison. According to the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP), there are nearly twenty thousand political prisoners in prisons.