Authorities in Myanmar on Tuesday released an American journalist who has been detained since March 9.
Nathan Maung, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Myanmar online news site Kamayut Media, has been incarcerated for more than two months in one of the country's most infamous prison located north of Yangon.
Maung was released Tuesday after charges against him were dropped. He is scheduled to be deported to the United States this week, according to ABC News. However, his colleague, Hanthar Nyein, remains in prison.
The Kamayut Media co-founder had been locked up in the aging Insein Prison, a 134-year-old facility known for its harsh conditions and torture. The prison has recently become a central part of the crackdown against the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar.
Since February 2020, the junta has detained more than 4,300 people in the prison, hundreds of whom were thrown in despite having fresh gunshot wounds, according to The New York Times.
In interviews with The Times, a retired Insein prison guard and nearly a dozen former prisoners detailed the appalling conditions inside the institution.
Two sources close to Maung and Nyein told CNN Business that both journalists were subjected to a two-week torture in an interrogation center before they were transfered to the Insein Prison. They were reportedly kept in adjoining rooms where they could hear each scream. The journalists were also refused access to food and water for several days.
Five days into the torture, Nyein was allegedly ordered to hold ice on his arm. If he moved, the junta would hit him with a pole or a gun, the sources said.
Two weeks after they were detained, the police transferred both American journalists to Insein, where overcrowding, mental and physical torture and lack of sanitation runs rampant under military rule.
Other former detainees have also attested to the torture happening inside the facility. In April, a 19-year-old, who was badly beaten and bruised, shared details of the torture he experienced in the hands of Myanmar's military officers.
The teenager, whose identity was not revealed, said military officers tied his hands before beating him up using cables, glass bottles and guns.
"The commander tied my hands from the back and used small scissors to cut my ears, the tip of my nose, my neck and my throat. (He) hit my head with a glass bottle, beat me up, pointed at me with guns but the bullets did not come out. He used the gun to threaten me as soon as I got to their station. Then he let his fellow soldiers beat me up that night," he told CNN World.
The reports of torture inside the facility comes months after MRTV, a military-owned media in Myanmar, aired photos showing the bloodied and bruised of four men and two women. One of the women shown in the pictures appeared to have a swollen jaw and a black eye.
Emboldened through impunity— AAPP (Burma) (@aapp_burma) April 18, 2021
This junta uses torture as its policy
AAPP is concerned for all those detained particularly in undisclosed locations
If international community does not act. Torture, and to death, will clearly continue pic.twitter.com/6pGU3tSVT3
The airing of the photos prompted critics, including several members of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to condemn Myanmar.