Thursday, 14 November 2019

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Six inmates die in Insein prison in a week

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Six prisoners including, former Foreign Minister U Win Aung have died in a week in the infamous Insein Prison, Rangoon, it is learnt.

Prison sources said that U Win Aung (65), Ma Thida Soe from Pazuntaung, Mayanthee from Mingaladon, Ko Phyo, Myint Wei and Pho Si died  between from October 28   and November 4.

Prison officials refused to answer queries on the pretext that a meeting was in progress when Mizzima contacted the Prison Department, Rangoon Division for details.

Aung Kyaw Oo of the Thai based 'Association of Assistance to Political Prisoners-Burma' (AAPP-B) said, "We heard that diarrhoea was endemic in the prison for about three days. It is certain something has happened inside the prison but we do not know the details yet".

Advocate U Aung Thein, whose license was revoked by the regime while representing his clients in political cases, said that there were 7,000 to 8,000 prisoners including political prisoners in Insein prison.

"Some of my clients had TB, malnutrition and skin diseases," U Aung Thein said.

Some prisoners died in prison from internal injuries that they sustained in interrogation camps and police stations. They were subject to brutal torture like beating and kicking during interrogation before being sent to prison.

Monk U Pyinyar Thiri, who is now living in New Delhi, India, recalled his suffering in the No. 1 Interrogation Camp in Monywa, for his role in the monk-led protests in September 2007. He was deprived of food and water for about a week in custody, he said.

"They kicked me on my head and chest. They hit me on my rib cage and stomped on my toes with their combat boots until they got the statement they wanted from me. They tortured me until I fell unconscious," Uzin Pyinyar Thiri said.

The families of affluent prisoners can afford to treat their loved ones in prison hospitals and township hospitals outside but most prisoners die in prison without proper treatment, former prisoners said.

According to AAPP-B statistics, 141 political prisoners died in Burmese prisons during 21 years, from 1988 to 2009.

(Edited by Ye Yint Aung)


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