Shin Gambira is a jailed monk in Myanmar, he is imprisoned for his part in the street demonstrations in 2007. Assaulted repeatedly during a prison transfer and at the Khandi Prison over the course of about a month, and as a consequence, he has been suffering from head and back injuries causing a lot of concern on the part of the Asian Human Rights Commission.
Due to these injuries, Shin Gambira is suffering from fits frequently crying out in pain and clutching his head according to prisoners released from Kalay Prison on October 12. He has to be held down by prison authorities to administer a drug via injection, perhaps a sedative, after which he quiets down and becomes unconscious. Upon waking up, he slurs his speech.
The physical and mental health of this detainee is in a very precarious situation. Shin Gambira ought to be released from prison without delay. At least, he should be transferred to a facility in Yangon where he can receive appropriate treatment and also be close to his family.
The question of the detainee’s health is a humanitarian matter that transcends political issues. We also urge the International Committee of the Red Cross to be given unimpeded access to all places of detention in Myanmar in accordance with its international mandate.
The government’s October 12 amnesty grant to 6,539 prisoners was made on humanitarian ground to show sympathy to the families of the prisoners and to give the prisoners a chance to work for themselves and for the state. Shin Gambira may remain sick for a long time but perhaps the government for humanitarian reasons can now free him so his family can look after him.
Myanmar Vice President Sai Mauk Kham announced that the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission has been recently formed to promote and safeguard the fundamental rights of the citizens as prescribed in the constitution. Prisons should start treating prisoners humanely from now on.