Due to substandard living conditions in Burma's prisons, infectious diseases and chronic conditions are rampant among the detainee population.
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.