Prisoners in Loikaw Prison Denied Access to Medical Treatment

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1823

Katarawaddy Times.

Prisoners in Loikaw Prison, Karenni State, are reportedly being denied access to medical treatment, according to sources close to the prison.

Despite the presence of doctors within the prison, prisoners are not receiving adequate healthcare, as stated by Thar Phoe, spokesperson for the Karenni Political Prisoners Association (KPPA).

“Currently, there’s a shortage of medicines in the prison. Additionally,there are doctors who come to provide medical treatment to the sick prisoners; however, sick prisoners are facing under the condition that the doctor are not coming to provide medical  treatment to the sick anymore” said Thar Phoe.

It is estimated that Loikaw Prison currently holds around 500 prisoners, including over 100 political prisoners. Sources reveal that pregnant women within the prison are also denied proper healthcare during childbirth.

“During childbirth, women are handcuffed by two police officers, even at the hospital. They are discharged after only two days and forced to live in cramped quarters with other inmates. Both mothers and newborns face unsanitary conditions with limited bedding. Mothers lack access to proper postpartum care and struggle to recover,” explained a source close to the prison.

Following a 1111  military operation in Loikaw, the KPPA reported on February 8th that prisoners were being fed solely with coarse rice and fish paste. Additionally, prisoners were confined to their cells from December 16th, 2023, to February 8th, 2024. These actions further jeopardize the health of the prisoners.

“Despite our continuous appeals to the ICRC and UNOCHA, we haven’t seen any concrete action. We’ve been constantly engaging with the media, raising awareness about the situation. We are uncertain why these international organizations are seemingly ignoring us. It feels like the issue of political prisoners is being neglected in the realm of political activism,” expressed Thar Phoe.

Tragically, four deaths have been reported in Loikaw Prison during the military coup due to inadequate healthcare. The junta has also imposed restrictions on prison visits and the delivery of medication.

KPPA has reported that the prison authority cut 20 precent of budget for prisoners supported by their families.

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