Monthly Trend Analysis
During the month of December at least 1 political prisoner was transferred, and 16 political prisoners were released. The arrests of 5 people in December for protesting were reported in the media. These arrests were not included in the overall figures this month, as they remain unconfirmed at the time of reporting.
December brought the continued mistreatment of numerous political prisoners across Burma, with at least 142 in poor health due to the harsh prison conditions, transfers to remote prisons where there are no doctors, and the denial of proper medical care.
One case in particular further highlighted the toll these conditions take on political prisoners and the devastating consequences. Buddhist monk, U Naymeinda, passed away on 8 December. He was the 146th political prisoner to die in prison in Burma, since 1988, due to malnutrition, maltreatment and inadequate medical care. U Naymeinda was tortured during interrogation and later transferred to Moulmein Prison in Mon State where his health deteriorated. He developed serious mouth ulcers, preventing him from eating and drinking. He also suffered from a skin disease but requests for medical treatment were ignored by authorities. His body was cremated on 9 December 2010.
Furthermore, labor union member, Naing Lin, was transferred from Insein prison to Kale prison in Sagaing Division, 680 Miles from his home. He suffers from Leukemia and requires a monthly blood transfusion; yet there are no doctors in Kale prison. Without monthly blood transfusions he could die.
Of particular note this month, was the release of 16 political prisoners. Although this was clearly a positive development it must be noted that each of these individuals had served their full sentence and were not granted freedom under an amnesty. One individual had already served an additional 4 months on her initial prison term.