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AAPP Urges the External Hospitalization for a Critically Ill Political Prisoner

By Assistance Association for Political Prisoners - Burma  •  October 20, 2011

AAPP has learned that Nay Myo Zin has been repeatedly denied vital medical care and has been unable to sit or walk without severe pain, causing him to forego his family visits. His repeated denials come at a time when the U Thein Sein administration granted an amnesty to those prisoners in poor health.

AAPP strongly urges the U Thein Sein administration to allow external hospitalization for this critically ill political prisoner. The health condition of Nay Myo Zin, former army captain turned charity worker recently sentenced to ten years under the notorious Electronic Transactions Act, has rapidly deteriorated since his initial arrest in May.

In physically good health upon arrest, he is now unable to walk and faces potential paralysis of his lower body due to appallingly inadequate medical care in Burma’s prisons, compounded by repeated denials of requests for external hospitalization. The severe pain he is being forced to endure has also prevented him from receiving family visits. The case of Nay Myo Zin amounts to a wholesale violation of his most basic prisoner rights, including the right to basic medical care and family visits. AAPP demands the relevant prison authorities to provide Nay Myo Zin with the urgent medical care he is rightfully entitled to under domestic law. Nay Myo Zin, who was both physically and mentally tortured during his interrogation, is currently suffering from a broken hip and rib leaving him unable to walk or stand. Although he received an x-ray from the prison hospital confirming his grave injuries, repeated appeals to the prison doctor requesting a transfer to an appropriate medical facility have all gone denied. U Hla Myo Myint, Nay Myo Zin’s legal representative, decried the situation as unjust, stating he witnessed criminal offenders receive approval for their external hospitalization requests without delay. Nay Myo Zin has so far received nothing other than pills.

The prolonged mistreatment of Nay Myo Zin is a far cry from the recent amnesty that saw the release of prisoners in bad health. Unfortunately, there are still at least 122 political prisoners locked up and suffering from poor health. Among those in poor health are: Honney Oo, an ABFSU student serving a 9 and a half year sentence and now suffering gastric problems; and the famed student leader Min Ko Naing, who was not released in the recent presidential amnesty, is suffering from hypertension and heart conditions due to prison conditions.

The conditions in Burma’s prisons have remained appallingly far below minimum international standards to satisfy the most basic prisoner rights. Nay Myo Zin is being held in Insein prison, which is notorious for inadequate health care and only provides 3 doctors for 10,000 inmates. AAPP has documented at least 146 political prisoner deaths due to such deplorable conditions. The gross negligence for the care of political prisoners by the prison staff demands that resources outside of the prison be made available to those prisoners in need when the prison staff themselves cannot care for those inmates.

As the first political prisoner to be arrested under U Thein Sein administration, it serves as a cautious reminder that conditions inside Burma’s prisons are not changing quickly enough, despite overtures of progress by the administration.

“Given the recent so-called amnesty by the U Thein Sein administration and its intentions of releasing prisoners in poor health, it is decidedly unjust to not only keep Nay Myo Zin locked up on false charges, but also to deny him adequate and necessary medical care which is the right of prisoners and the responsibility of the authorities,” says AAPP Joint Secretary Ko Bo Kyi.

For more information:
Tate Naing (Secretary): +66 (0) 81 287 8751
Bo Kyi (Joint Secretary): +66 (0) 81 962 8713

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This post is in: Press Release

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