Riot Erupts at Myitkyina Prison in Kachin State, Resulting in Deaths and Injuries

Myitkyina Prison in Kachin State, Myanmar experienced a violent riot on April 18, resulting in reports of fatalities and injuries among the inmates involved. The disturbance began in the late afternoon, escalating as security forces attempted to quell the chaos by firing warning shots into the air. Despite these efforts, the unrest continued, leading to the deployment of security vehicles equipped with long-range acoustic devices.

Eyewitnesses described a scene of escalating tension, with shouts of “Justice is our concern” ringing out as the situation unfolded. The situation finally subsided after approximately half an hour, only to reignite later in the evening. Reports indicated that a group of 42 prisoners had been released on the first day of the Myanmar New Year, triggering unrest among those who felt they had been unfairly left out of the amnesty.

Tragically, the riot resulted in the deaths of four inmates from different prisons in the region, with several others sustaining injuries. The injured prisoners were promptly taken for medical treatment to address their wounds. Despite the unfolding events at Myitkyina Prison, official sources from the State Administration Council have remained silent on the matter, leaving much unanswered about the underlying reasons behind the unrest.

This is not the first instance of violence at Myitkyina Prison, as a similar riot occurred in 2019 due to grievances related to unequal parole opportunities. The ripple effect of such incidents was felt across other prisons in the area, with clashes also erupting in Shwebo, Tharawady, and Pathein facilities. The loss of lives in these conflicts serves as a stark reminder of the challenges within the prison system and the urgent need for addressing underlying issues to prevent future tragedies.