Friday, June 12, 2009

Five Political Prisoners Placed in ‘Dog Cells’

The Irrawaddy News

Five political prisoners have been held in specials punishment cells, known as “dog cells,” and banned from receiving family visits since May 11 in Insein Prison in Rangoon, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) (AAPP), based in Thailand.

The AAPP said the reason for the severe punishment is not known.

Naing Naing, a member of parliament-elect; Soe Han and Aung Naing of the National League for Democracy party; Lwin Ko Latt, a member of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions; and Sandimar, a senior abbot were named as recipients of the harsh punishment.

The AAPP said that Naing Naing suffers from a hernia and hypertension, and Soe Han, a lawyer, has eye problems. Their families have been banned from visiting and have been unable to provide them with essential medicines. The families are very worried for the health of their loved ones.

Naing Naing, 67, also known as Saw Naing Naing, from Pazuntong Township was arrested on September 14, 2000 and charged with threatening national security and violating publishing restrictions. He was sentenced to 21 years imprisonment.

Soe Han, arrested on September 14, 2000 and charged with the same offences was sentenced to 21 years imprisonment.

Due to inadequate healthcare provisions in prisons across the country, political prisoners depend on family members to bring medicines and other essential items.

The ruling military government has not allowed the International Committee of the Red Cross to conduct prison visits since November 2005.

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