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A female political prisoner in Kachin state’s Putao prison was beaten up by prison guards when she tried to stop them from beating up two other inmates.
Htet Htet Oo Wei, a 25 year old National League for Democracy (NLD) member was arrested on the 30th December 2008 for taking part in a protest in Rangoon calling for the release of the party’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi. She was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment on the 23rd of March 2009 and transferred to detention in Putao, Burma’s northern-most town.
A family member of Htet Htet Oo Wei who visited her at Putao prison on the 16th of July said she was beaten up by prison authorities on the 10th of July when she tried to stop them from beating up two other female prisoners.
“Prison officials were beating up two female inmates who were ill, for not doing their labour assignments. [Htet Htet Oo Wei] told the officials to stop as the women were already hurt pretty badly and offered to cover their work. The officials then also beat her up with a stick,” said the family member.
Meanwhile, another National League for Democracy member, also detained in Putao prison was put under solitary confinement recently for complaining against the prison authorities’ discrimination towards political inmates who were treated differently from regular inmates, according to a source who recently visited the prison.
“Myo Kyaw Zin spoke out that he would not accept the discrimination among the prisoners and he was beaten up and put in solitary confinement for that,” said the source.
There are currently 16 political prisoners in Putao prison including the Shan State Nationalities League for Democracy’s leader Khun Htun Oo, Mandalay NLD member Win Mya Mya, Taungoo NLD members Mya Mya Thein and Htet Htet Oo Wei from Rangoon.