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Political prisoner denied surgery for 1½ years

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Political prisoner Myo Win Wai, who voluntarily worked to collect the dead after Cyclone Nargis struck, has needed surgery for 1½ years for a serious medical condition but authorities continue to deny him care, his father said.

Myo Win Wai, 25, had been diagnosed as requiring surgery for severe haemorrhoids in March last year but authorities ignored his condition and sent him far from his parents’ home in Rangoon to Khantee Prison in the northwestern Burmese division of Sagaing, his father Tin Hla, who returned home on Tuesday, said.

Authorities allowed Tin Hla and Khin Win Kyi, his mother, who live in Shwepyitha Township, to meet Myo Win Wai at Khantee Prison on August 10.

“He said that he could not eat anything because of the haemorrhoids. At the time, he said he hadn’t used his bowels for five days … he couldn’t even drink water. His words made us cry”, Tin Hla told Mizzima.

Myo Win Wai told them his fellow inmates were also suffering from very poor health.

“Some have suffered severe malaria. One … Nyi Pu is a paraplegic. His medical record was not filed, so he didn’t know what medicines he should take. My son’s condition is so serious that I don’t have the heart to hear more,” Tin Hla said.

His family had sent an appeal letter to the authorities of Khantee Prison and the Ministry of Home Affairs seeking appropriate medical care for their son.

Meanwhile, the prison doctor had also informed prison authorities that Myo Win Wai needed an operation but the prison authorities replied that they had already reported the matter to their superiors.

On August 12, his parents complained to investigatory panels such as the Special Branch police and Sa-Ah-Pha (a special military detective team) but they gave the same answer as the Khantee authorities.

Myo Win Wai was arrested by Special Branch police at 11 p.m. on September in 2008 for voluntary Nargis relief work with prominent comedian Zarganar.

He was given five years in prison under the Immigration Act’s section 13 (1).

Before he was sentenced, he had also fought against labour- and child-rights violations, his father said.

Myo Win Wai’s fellow inmates including Than Zaw Myint and Pea Pyoke, aka Win Myint, were suffering from severe malaria, Tin Hla said.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 21 August 2010 02:32 )  

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