The surgeon was in the middle of operating on a patient when the squad of soldiers entered the hospital looking for doctors to arrest. A receptionist alerted the surgeon, Dr. Kyaw Swar, but it was too late for him to stop the procedure.

Hoping to avoid attention, he ran out into the hallway and collected the shoes that he and his colleagues had left outside the operating room door — a telltale sign that surgery was under way. Moments later, the soldiers walked noisily past the operating theater.

"If they had found us, they would have arrested us,” Kyaw Swar said. "But I will not run away while I am operating on a patient. It is not a crime for a doctor to treat patients.”