In the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis in 2008, the Burmese military junta government refused to allow international aid to enter the country, and even handed large prison sentences to Burmese individuals who had stepped forward to help their fellow citizens.
Interviews with former Burmese political prisoners revealed that conditions in the prisons are both physically and psychologically degrading.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Burma, Tomas Ojea Quintana, is visiting Burma this week to assess the country’s recent changes and to determine if the changes are leading to a realization of the citizens’ human rights.
In Burmese prisons, access to healthcare remains rare, and political prisoners in particular suffer from inadequate treatment and unhealthy conditions.
Despite the Burmese government's official denial that it holds political prisoners, many Burmese activists remain imprisoned for their perceived or real involvement in resisting the junta government. While in jail, these prisoners have faced myriad human rights violations including torture and deprivation of healthcare.