Political prisoner dies of tuberculosis

Dec 30, 2008 (DVB), Political prisoner and former school teacher Htay Lwin Oo died of tuberculosis on 28 December in Ohbo jail in Mandalay division, where he was serving a seven-year sentence.

He was cremated summarily by the authorities the following day, his wife Khin Hla Myint told DVB."He was wrapped in a blanket and placed on a metal trolley as if he was merely an animal," she said.

"I was lucky to be able to invite three monks for the rites or he would have just been dumped."

Htay Lwin Oo, a teacher from No. 18 state middle school in Mandalay, was arrested under section 5(j) of the Emergency Provision Act in December 2003 and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

He had reported to the International Labour Organisation that he was only earning 5000 kyat a month, which he claimed was not enough for his family to live on.

"He contracted tuberculosis after he went inside and then he caught other diseases and he kept on losing consciousness, then he had a stroke," Khin Hla Myint said.

Khin Hla Myint said her husband had regularly cycled to and from their home in Amarapura, Mandalay division, for ten years before his arrest, but he had not been able to take regular exercise since his arrest.

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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