17 male political prisoners join women on hunger strike

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – A group of women political prisoners who started a hunger strike last week in Insein Prison in Rangoon were joined by 17 male political prisoners on Sunday, according to the Assistance Association Political Prisoners–Burma.

Insein Prison authorities declined to answer questions when contacted byMizzima.

Seventeen political prisoners are staging a hunger strike and five prisoners are staging a sit-in strike in their prison ward, Teik Naing said.

The strikers are from various groups including the National League for Democracy, the All Burma Federation of Students Union, 88-Generation Students and monks who took part in the September 2007 demonstrations, he said.

At the same time, a group of prominent political prisoners have sent a letter to Home Minister Ko Ko demanding the same six-point improvements. They included Buddhist monk Ashin Gambira, who is serving a 63-year prison term, a 1990 election MP Nyi Pu from Rakhine State, Htay Aung aka Aung Myat, and Min Min Tun.

The prisoners’ association said earlier that seven female prisoners including four female political prisoners in Insein Prison No. 7 Ward began a hunger strike on May 17. The health of those prisoners is not known.

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