134 years ago, Insein prison, a monument stands as a testament to the brutal tyrannical regimes that followed the former Myanmar (Burma) state.
This is what author Richard Paddock began in his report in the New York Times, in which he reviewed what this ancient prison built by the English colonialist means for this Asian country, which has been living since the beginning of February 2021 in turmoil after the army coup against the elected civilian government.
Although writing the name of this prison Insein differs from writing the English word Insane, which means “the madman,” the two words, according to the writer, agree in pronunciation and effect.
The writer pointed out that this prison, which is designed in the shape of a pizza, is a prison notorious for its harsh conditions and the torture of its inmates inside it for half a century at the hands of the military dictatorship that dominates the country.
Since the army coup on February 1, the old prison has become an essential part of the ongoing campaign against the pro-democracy movement in the Southeast Asian country, and a human rights group has stated that the Military Council has arrested more than 4,300 people since it seized power again, and was the main destination for them It is the “Insein” prison, which is the most prominent of the 56 prisons in the country.
In interviews with “The New York Times”, a retired guard from Insein Prison and 10 former inmates painted a picture of the horrific conditions and human misery at the infamous establishment, and many of them warned that a new generation of political prisoners would be forced to endure the same horrific treatment that their predecessors experienced if the army were allowed. To stay in power.
During the first period of military rule from 1962 to 2011, the criminal system often held thousands of political prisoners at one time, according to the author.
The Insein detention center, according to the report, had the largest share of them, as they were placed in cells with rudimentary toilets and flimsy blankets on which they slept on a hard surface. Of rice mixed with sand
The writer quotes former political prisoners as saying that they were repeatedly beaten and sometimes burned, electrocuted, forced to crawl over rough rocks and confined in rooms designated for dogs.
Victims also reported that interrogators put salt in the prisoner’s wound or put a plastic bag on his head until he lost consciousness, according to the writer.
For its part, Amnesty International stated in 1995 that prisoners in Myanmar were beaten “sometimes until they lost consciousness”.
According to the New York Times report, the powerful Military Intelligence branch had an interrogation center in Insein, where it summoned prisoners day or night for torture sessions.
The writer quoted one of the released persons as saying that after his release from prison he was diagnosed with PTSD, adding, “All prisons in Myanmar are a man-made hell on earth.”