For 134 years, Insein Prison — pronounced “insane” — has stood as a monument to brutality and authoritarian rule in Myanmar. British colonizers had built it to subjugate the population, and the military dictatorship that ruled from 1962 to 2011 used it to torture and suppress political prisoners.
Now, with the military back in control after a Feb. 1 coup, the aging building has become a central part of the crackdown against the pro-democracy movement. Hundreds of journalists, elected leaders and protesters have been crammed in to the overcrowded structure.
History: Under the former dictatorship, political prisoners told The Times that they were frequently beaten and sometimes burned, given electric shocks, forced to crawl across jagged rocks and locked in kennels intended for dogs.
Journalists: In March, the authorities arrested Nathan Maung, an American citizen, and Hanthar Nyein, co-founders of the online news site Kamayut Media. Another American journalist, Danny Fenster, the managing editor of Frontier Myanmar, was arrested on Monday at the Yangon airport as he prepared to leave the country and was taken to the prison.
Courtesy – NYT