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AAPP denounces inappropriate prison transfers of elderly Political prisoner, Gen. Hso Ten

By Assistance Association for Political Prisoners - Burma  •  August 12, 2010

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) (AAPP) received information that General Hso Ten was transferred to three different prisons in one week, in a cruel ploy to further weaken the already sick and elderly political prisoner.

General Hso Ten, 74 years old, a Shan ethnic politician, is currently serving a 106 year prison sentence. He suffers from heart problems, diabetes and has cataracts.  The authorities have repeatedly denied him adequate medical care.

On 2 August, he was transferred from Khamti Prison to Mandalay Prison, then from Mandalay Prison to Insein Prison on 5 August and finally to Switte Prison on 9 August.

Gen Hso Ten’s daughter, Nang Kham Paung, tried to visit her father as he was sent from prison to prison.  Prison authorities promised her she would see him, but they did not keep their promise, and instead he was transferred further and further away from his family.

The total disregard for the health and well being of this elderly and well respected Shan leader is indicative of the regime’s total disregard for genuine national reconciliation with opposition and ethnic groups. They should never have treated General Hso Ten like this,” said Bo Kyi, Joint-Secretary of AAPP.

There are currently 138 political prisoners in need of medical care who, like Gen. Hso Ten, are denied their fundamental right to health. Other sick prisoners include U Tin Yu, Ko Mya Aye and U Khin Maung Cho. They have all been transferred to prisons in remote areas away from their families.

AAPP has grave concerns for these political prisoners. There are serious doubts that they will be able to survive the merciless prison environment for much longer, unless they receive urgent medical care.

Breaking News

AAPP received information that Gen. Hso Ten’s daughter was finally allowed to visit her father in Sitwe Prison, yesterday (11 August).  Gen. Hso Ten had lost 10 pounds from the arduous prison transfer trip. During the transfer from Mandalay to Insein he was iron shackled and handcuffed in an over-crowded train compartment. His arm was dislocated and now permanently maimed from lack of medical treatment.

It is imperative that the military regime immediately provide General Hso Ten and the other sick political prisoners with the necessary medication and treatment; transfer them to prisons with adequate medical facilities, near their families; and release them,” Bo Kyi said.

Background information

Gen Hso Ten was arrested, along with seven other Shan leaders, on 9 February 2005, after he took part in a private meeting of senior political representatives to discuss the authorities’ plans for political transition.

He was charged on five counts, including High Treason which is an offence carrying the death penalty:

1. Section 122/1 of The Penal Code (1861) which states that whoever commits High Treason within the Union of Burma will be punished with death or transportation for life.

2. Section 124 (A) of The Penal Code (1861) which refers to attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government, established by law for the Union.

3. Section 17/1 of The Unlawful Associations Act (1908)

4. Section 17/2 of The Unlawful Associations Act (1908)

5. Section 24 (1) of The Law Amending the Control of Money (for illegal possession of foreign currency)

Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)

For more information

Tate Naing (Secretary):    +66 (0) 812 878 751

Bo Kyi (Joint Secretary);   +66 (0) 819 628 713

Download the press release in Burmese

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