DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- The International Committee of the Red Cross has been unable to visit prisons in Myanmar since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in late 2019, a top official said Monday.
Speaking to The Associated Press, Red Cross director-general Robert Mardini said officials with his organization have, however, remained in contact with Myanmar.
“We are in constant dialogue on this on this question," he said. "Our access to detention places has been unfortunately disrupted since the pandemic started, so we are now working to start again those important visits. And at the same time, we are stepping up significantly our humanitarian activities in the country.”
Myanmar's military seized power in February last year, ousting the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi, which has likely complicated communication efforts. Resistance to the takeover has now led to what some U.N. experts have characterized as a civil war. Activists say thousands have been arrested.