Political prisoners currently detained in Monywa Prison are being abused both physically and mentally by both fellow inmates and prison authorities, according to local politicians and those released.
Amongst those being held in Monywa Prison are Sagaing Region chief minister, Dr Myint Naing, and renowned protest leader, Wai Moe Naing.
Local politicians told DVB that political prisoners were being subjected to beatings by criminal inmates spurred on by prison authorities. Many were said to be suffering from malnutrition, or being kept in cramped cells. It was rare, sources said, for those detained to be allowed to communicate with relatives, and visits for political prisoners had been restricted.
Monywa Strike Committee member, Ko Khant Wai Phyo, called for an end to prison violence, saying that politicians had received letters written by those currently being held which described conditions.
A former prisoner recently released from Monywa said that the head of the prison, Zaw Win Myint, and other staff members, including Tun Aung Lin who had recently transferred from the military, were leading an ongoing campaign of punishment against those being held on political grounds.
He told DVB that prison authorities regularly forced political prisoners into stress positions whilst sermonizing the evils of the revolution and the good deeds of the military.
On June 19 of last year, political prisoners in Monywa were reported to have dressed in white shirts and prayed to mark the occasion of the birthday of Aung San Suu Kyi. Sources told how they had been violently beaten and handed punishments as a result.
Sources recently released from Monywa said that roughly two-thirds of all those currently held in the prison are political prisoners.