The 18 doctors and nurses, who were earlier taken from a Church-run clinic in the Diocese of Loikaw in Myanmar’s eastern state of Kayah, were released on November 23.
The health workers were arrested by soldiers of the military junta during a raid on the Catholic Church’s Mercy Clinic that has been providing free treatment for people.
A report on Kantarawaddy Times said all the health workers were released at about 6 p.m. on Tuesday after questioning.
Witnesses told local media that other buildings, including the office of the priest, were also ransacked during the search.
Sources said a Catholic priest and two nuns accompanied the medical workers who were taken away at gunpoint in three vehicles owned by the church.
Residents of the area said that the Mercy Clinic had provided free treatment for people of all ethnic groups for more than 20 years, with the elderly and chronically ill among the majority of its patients.
Health workers involved in the nonviolent Civil Disobedience Movement resisting military rule in Myanmar had treated patients at the clinic for about five months, sources said.
A report on Radio Free Asia quoted local residents saying that they believe the government troops might have suspected that People’s Defense Force fighters were also being treated at the clinic.
A Church official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the military had appeared only to target Civil Disobedience Movement health workers treating patients at the site.
The Karenni Human Rights Group said the military raid at Mercy Clinic had violated international law.
“It is very clear that raids on religious buildings and clinics are against international humanitarian laws, and arresting health workers is a violation of these regulations,” said group’s director.
“The junta is violating the basic human right to life by raiding clinics that are providing public health services,” he added.
Military forces have detained a total of 174 people so far in Kayah state since the February 1 coup that overthrew the National League for Democracy civilian government.
At least eight churches in Loikaw, Demoso and Pekhon townships have been destroyed due to shelling and clashes between the military and resistance forces.