AAPP and BWU inadequate health care statement To: Media Statement – for immediate release

Friday 23 January

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) and the Burmese Women's Union today strongly condemned the inadequate health care for political prisoners in Burma's prisons.
23 year-old Kay Thi Aung has recently suffered a miscarriage in O Bo Prison, Mandalay Division, due to lack of adequate medical care in prison. Kay Thi Aung, a member of the All Burma Federation of Students Unions, was arrested on 14 September 2008 in connection with her efforts to provide aid to Cyclone Nargis victims. She was pregnant at the time of her arrest. In December, the regime's courts sentenced her to 26 years in prison.

Nilar Thein, a leading member of the 88 Generation Students Group who was sentenced to 65 years in prison on 11 November 2008, has been suffering from gastric problems in Thayet Prison in Magwe Division. The authorities have not yet granted her proper medical treatment for her condition.

General-Secretary of the Burmese Women's Union Tin Tin Nyo said, "The SPDC signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in 1997, promising to uphold women's rights. Yet women who are involved in pro-democracy activities are subjected to harsh and cruel punishments such as Kay Thi Aung's 26-year sentence. In her case, the authorities have clearly failed to meet their obligations under Article 12 of the convention, relating to providing adequate health care to women during pregnancy. As a result,
Kay Thi Aung has suffered a terrible loss. She needs urgent medical treatment."

Bo Kyi, Joint-Secretary of AAPP said, "Pregnant women in prisons must be given top priority for medical treatment. Kay Thi Aung's tragic case is a clear example of the regime's neglect of the health and well-being of all political prisoners, even those who need priority treatment. We strongly condemn the regime's systematic neglect of the health care needs of political prisoners. The International Committee of the Red Cross must be allowed to resume prison visits immediately.

They should be allowed to fulfil their independent, impartial mandate, free of restrictions."

AAPP and the BWU

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