Medical treatment

Myanmar junta refuses to treat political prisoners

The regime released convicted felons from Insein prison on February 12 to mark the 75th anniversary of Union Day. / No Myo

By The Irrawaddy February 18, 2022

Political prisoners held at Insein prison in Yangon say they are being denied proper medical treatment for injuries caused by junta beatings, and many are now at risk of developing serious complications from health.

A letter sent on behalf of political prisoners held at Insein circulated on social media on Wednesday. In it, a political prisoner details the condition of his sick fellow prisoners and urges local and foreign organizations to help provide proper medical treatment and medical supplies to those imprisoned by the military regime.

An inmate who suffered a stroke is not receiving proper treatment at the prison hospital, and prison authorities have denied him access to treatment at an outside hospital, the letter says. Another prisoner who often loses consciousness after his nerves were damaged in a beating by the junta is not receiving any treatment, he added.

Ma Mya Kyu Kyu Thin, a protester who was arrested in December, suffers from persistent headaches and nosebleeds after being beaten during her arrest. She was only allowed to receive treatment at the prison hospital.

“We only know about these cases because they happened before our eyes. We don’t know how many other similar cases have happened without our knowledge. These cases testify to the lack of accountability shown by prison authorities and the regime,” the letter said.

Engineering student and Red Cross member Ma Mya Kyu Kyu Thin was one of many protesters injured when a junta vehicle rammed a flash protest in Kyimyindaing township in Yangon. She also suffered head injuries when regime forces beat protesters.

“She wants treatment at an outside hospital because she was hit in the head and she wants to have a CT scan. CT scans are not available at the prison hospital. But she was denied treatment at an outside hospital,” her lawyer said.

An X-ray revealed that some nerves in his brain had been damaged, the lawyer said. Ma Hmu Yadanar, who was detained with Ma Mya Kyu Kyu Thin, had her left leg broken and is being held at the Kyimyindaing Township Police Station with her leg in a cast.

Ma Khin Kay Khaing at Dawei prison in the Tanintharyi region of southern Myanmar is in urgent need of treatment for stomach problems as his condition is worsening due to prison food and the lack of proper health care, according to the Dawei Political Prisoners’ Network. Ma Khin Kay Khaing was sentenced to seven years in prison for anti-regime activities.

“She is in serious condition. Prison authorities have a responsibility to provide treatment in accordance with prisoners’ rights. But they only give painkillers. His life could be in danger if his condition worsens,” said a member of the Dawei Political Prisoner Network.

A lawyer representing detained activists said: “As everyone knows, there is no health service in prison. I heard that paracetamol was the only drug available in prison. Inmates told me that many of them fell ill with symptoms of COVID-19. As in the past, the majority of prisoners do not have full access to health services. They are still denied basic human rights and basic health care facilities. »

Restrictions and rights abuses have increased in Insein prison since last June, when civilian guards were replaced by military personnel, a former political prisoner told The Irrawaddy.

“Most importantly, health services have deteriorated dramatically. I’m afraid they [the junta] do it deliberately. [Prison authorities] display a more negative attitude towards political prisoners,” the former prisoner said.

The parallel civilian National Unity Government (NUG) said it was monitoring prison conditions under military rule and had received evidence of torture and extrajudicial executions in prisons in September, November and December from Last year. Steps are being taken to hold perpetrators accountable, the NUG said.

As of February 15, 1,557 people, including children, had been killed by the junta since last year’s coup, according to the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners. More than 9,100 people were arrested, of whom more than 700 were sentenced to prison terms.

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