Weekly Overview: Human Rights Situation in Mon State, Karen State and Tanintharyi Region

June 24, 2024

Political Prisoners Protest Denial of Care and Neglect

Life for the people in Burma continues to be increasingly challenging. However, the junta’s terror tactics have not silenced or deterred the ongoing movement in the country for peace and democracy, including in the target areas of the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM), including Mon State, Karen State, and the Tanintharyi region. Even in the junta-run prisons where thousands of political prisoners remain unjustly detained, they continue to demand their rights and freedoms.

On the evening of June 12th, protests erupted inside Kyaikmayaw Central Prison in Mon State due to the denial of care for an injured prisoner who was ordered to perform welding work on a two-story building during a rainstorm. The inmate was electrocuted, fell, and lost consciousness.

Political prisoners demanded medical treatment for the individual, but their calls were ignored. The lack of urgency and attention to the seriously wounded individual sparked the protest. According to a source close to Kyaikmayaw Central Prison, the protest lasted two hours, from 5 to 7 PM. It only subsided after the guards agreed to transfer the inmate to Mawlamyine General Hospital.

Following the incident, on the morning of June 13th, numerous junta troops entered Kyaikmayaw Central Prison and increased security measures, as reported by sources close to the prison.

In the early morning of June 15, a total of 146 political prisoners, both men and women, were transferred from Kyaikmayaw Central Prison:

“We learned that Mon State Prison Chief Director Zaw Myo Aung directly ordered the transfers. The male political prisoners were moved to Tharyarwaddy Prison, and the female political prisoners were sent to Daik-U Prison (Bago District).,” a source close to the prison stated.

Another reliable source added:

“The prisoner who was electrocuted is Aung Chit Htwe. He fell from a height of about 20 feet onto the women’s ward side. The delay in transferring him to an external hospital prompted the female inmates to demand immediate medical treatment and accountability from Director Zaw Myo Aung. After about an hour and a half, the inmate was finally taken to Mawlamyine General Hospital.”

As of the latest update, the inmate, Aung Chit Htwe, is expected to undergo brain surgery due to his injuries.

The denial of care to those detained for their activism is further evidence of a worsening pattern of denied medical care to political prisoners. Prison authorities have reportedly imposed stricter restrictions on political prisoners and inmates requiring medical treatment at external hospitals than on other inmates, according to a Dawei Prison nurse who participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).


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