Medicare for detained Shan leader ‘in name only’

MONDAY, 06 APRIL 2009 15:49 S.H.A.N.
Medical checkup and treatment given to elected Shan party leader, who has been languishing in the northernmost prison of junta-ruled Burma since 2005, has been perfunctory, according to sources close to his family.

The 66 year old politician has been suffering from diabetes, “sweet blood” and high blood pressure. “At least we should thank the prison authorities for allowing us to buy him necessary medication,” said one.
He is also allowed to take a 1 hour walk outside his cell each day, added another.

He is being held in a solitary cell with no radio to listen to but only reading materials approved by the authorities.

His family, “mostly it is his wife” who lives in Rangoon, is allowed to visit him once a month.

Despite the ordeal, his spirits reportedly remain high. “He always urges us not to abandon our ideals on account of him,” said one. “His self-possession is such he even earns respect from other inmates, which include Gen Khin Myunt’s former officers.”

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions stated on 24 March that the ruling military junta, being an illegitimate government, had no right to charge him and his colleagues for treason. One of them, ‘Math’ Myint Than, died in Sandoway on 2 May 2006. All of them were sentenced from 75 years to 106 years. Hkun Htun Oo got 95 years.

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