Myanmar junta cuts internet access to resistance stronghold of Sagaing ‘indefinitely’

At least three women detained in Dawei prison in Myanmar’s southeast Tanintharyi region are being denied treatment for life-threatening health conditions, their families and an advocacy network have said.

An officer from the Dawei Political Prisoners’ Network told Myanmar Now that it was difficult to get updates on the welfare of the 26 women incarcerated in the prison since last year’s coup, including information regarding threats to their health.

“It is very difficult to contact them and they live under many restrictions. We cannot easily know what is going on in the female-only rooms. They can’t easily contact their families either,” the officer said.

“On top of all that, the warden of the women’s ward is very strict,” he added, speculating that many of the problems faced by the inmates could be related to the repressive administration within the prison.

Some 144 Dawei men have also received prison sentences since the coup, according to a statement released by the Political Prisoners’ Network.

Most of the men and women imprisoned in the district have been convicted of incitement – ​​Sections 505a and 505c of the Penal Code – and of supporting “terrorism”, as stipulated in Section 52a of the Anti-Terrorism Act. The statutes have frequently been used by the junta to imprison opponents across the country.

Su Hlaing Nwe

Su Hlaing Nwe, 26, was arrested in March last year and sentenced to nine years in prison with hard labor on February 24. and has also developed kidney disease since his detention.

“One of the punishments in prison is to sit in a specified position for long periods of time. His kidneys started hurting after doing this exercise several times,” the relative told Myanmar Now.

The family member said she also suffered from low blood oxygen levels linked to her reproductive health issues and reduced mobility in her hands.

Suu Hlaing Nwe was a marketing manager at a Yangon-based company before she was arrested by the junta, who charged and sentenced her for violating sections 505a and 505c of the penal code and 52a of the anti-terrorism law.

She was accused of participating in combat training by an anti-junta defense force.

Eight other people in their twenties were arrested along with Suu Hlaing Nwe from a Dawei restaurant. They too were sentenced to nine years in prison on the same charges.

A relative of Su Hlaing Nwe told Myanmar Now that the family consulted doctors about her condition and symptoms, and were recommended that she undergo surgery and access long-term care. duration.

She reportedly asked the prison authorities to allow her to seek treatment in a hospital, but her request was not approved.

“It’s really sad that she was sentenced to a long prison term, but we are not asking that they release her. We just want her to get the medical care she needs,” the family member said.

Khin Kay Khine

Another woman held in the prison and in need of medical attention for stomach and gallbladder problems has been identified by the Dawei Political Prisoners’ Network as 34-year-old Khin Kay Khine. She is serving a seven-year sentence after being found guilty of an incitement charge and a counter-terrorism charge on February 10.

A statement from the network released last month described his conditions as being exacerbated by the food given to inmates and the prescription of inappropriate medication.

Khin Kay Khine is from Win Ka Phaw Village, Thayetchaung Township, Dawei District, and was arrested after being shot dead by the army while she was apparently feeding chickens.

She was treated for her gunshot wound at a military hospital in Dawei.

The reasons for his arrest are not known.

Win Ka Phaw’s phone service was cut off by the junta, making it difficult for her to contact her family from prison, the Dawei Political Prisoner Network officer said.

Sabei Phyu

Sabei Phyu, another woman incarcerated in Dawei prison but whose age is not known, has an unidentified bump on her neck and needs medical attention.

The inmates sent calls outside to seek medical care for the sick women, including Sabei Phyu, but the Dawei Political Prisoner Network could not get more information about her.

A total of 1,590 civilians have been killed by the junta’s armed forces and 12,466 civilians arrested since the coup, according to the statement issued by the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners.

Myanmar Now was unable to obtain comment from the junta regarding the conditions faced by the three women at Dawei prison.

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