The family of a political prisoner suffering from the later stages of cancer, with apparently only six months left to live, have sent a letter to Burma’s President, Thein Sein to consider an amnesty for him.
Zaw Lin Htun’s is serving 20-years imprisonment in Insein jail, his family say he was diagnosed with stomach and liver cancers and according to doctors; he has about six months left to live.
On 9 September the family sent the letter to President Thein Sein calling for an amnesty for their ailing relative. They are also preparing to send the letter bearing his mother’s signature to the government’s Prison Administration Department.
Zaw Linn Htun was imprisoned for 20-years in 2003 under the Unlawful Association Act, the Emergency Provisions Act and the Immigration Act after taking part in an effort to re-establish the All-Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU).
On 18 August this year, he was submitted to Insein Prison’s hospital due to severe illness and later transferred to Insein Hospital where his condition continued to deteriorate. He was diagnosed with liver cancer and then transferred to a hospital in Thingangyun township, where he was diagnosed to be additionally suffering from stomach cancer, according to close-associate U Htay.
“He can still talk and not exactly bed-ridden yet. He found out he has liver cancer but he didn’t know about the stomach cancer yet. We are not telling him that. He’s a spiritually strong man. We sent a letter to the President for an amnesty for him hoping he would still have some life left to get a treatment outside and to be with his family. We’re just hoping that he would get his freedom before he dies,” U Htay told DVB.
“Although he won’t see democracy in Burma before he dies, we would want him to be outside of the prison in the last days of his life. We want him to taste freedom before he dies.”
He said Zaw Linn Htun’s mother, who is 80 years old and suffers a heart condition, still has not found out about her son’s condition.
Min Naing, spokesperson of the ABFSU said the government should release him.
“We call for his immediate release and also the government to take responsibility for his condition as he fell ill while serving his prison term. Also, we would like to urge the government to release all political prisoners,” said Min Naing.