Political prisoners moved to Insein's dog quarters

June 19, 2009 (DVB), Around 20 political prisoners in Rangoon's Insein prison have been placed in detention inside the prison's canine quarters, according to the wife of one of the inmates.

Conditions in Burma's prisons are often dire, with particularly bad punishments meted out to high-profile political prisoners.

Many well-known imprisoned activists and opposition members are in poor health and are often denied healthcare, with the situation compounded by the frequent barring of family visits.

"My husband is now in the dog ward and he said he didn't know why the prison officials did that," said the wife of political inmate Sit Yan Naing, who was arrested in 2007 for allegedly carrying explosives in his fishing boat and sentenced to 14 years in prison.

"There are other people with him and also none of them seemed to know why they were there," she said, adding that a prison warden at the canine unit had told her he didn't know why either.

Meanwhile, a member of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party was arrested on Wednesday after taking photographs and video footage documenting a water shortage problem in his town.

Myat Myat Mon, the wife of NLD member Lay Lwin, said that she and her husband were taken from their house to South Dagon's Township Peace and Development Council office by township officials and police on Wednesday afternoon, and he has not returned since.

"My husband told them he didn't do it but [township chairman Hla Win] threatened to beat him up and said they would sue him anyway with any means possible," she said.

The sister of Lay Lwin said that his whereabouts were unknown.

"We heard a clerk in that office saying something like he was transferred to a government interrogation camp so we are so worried for him," she said.

Reporting by Aye Nai and Naw Say Phaw

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