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Aung San Suu Kyi’s party concerned for health of Myanmar’s imprisoned former leader

The party of Myanmar’s deposed former leader Aung San Suu Kyi said Thursday they were concerned she is “not receiving adequate medical care” while in prison, amid reports her health is failing.

“We are particularly concerned that she is not receiving adequate medical care and [the junta] are not providing healthy food nor accommodation sufficiently with the intention to risk her life,” the National League for Democracy (NLD) said in a statement on Facebook.

“If [Aung San Suu Kyi’s] health is not only impaired but her life also is endangered, the military junta is solely responsible,” the party said.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that Suu Kyi’s son, Kim Aris, had told the news outlet he was “extremely worried” about his mother’s health, saying she has experienced dizziness and vomiting and has been suffering from severe gum disease.

Aris, who lives in Britain, also said his mother was struggling to eat and was being refused permission to see an outside doctor, according to Reuters.

Reuters did not say how Aris received the information regarding his mother’s health, as he told the news agency that he has not been able to contact his mother “in any way since she was detained by the military” when they seized power in a coup in February 2021.

In recent weeks, several countries and the United Nations have raised concerns about the health of the former leader, who faces years in detention.

On September 6, Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson for the UN secretary general, called for Suu Kyi’s release saying, “everyone in detention should be able to have access to health care, that is a basic right.”

Leaders of the ASEAN member states also met last week in Jakarta, Indonesia – where Myanmar’s deteriorating security and humanitarian situation was high on the agenda. For the second consecutive year, Myanmar was not invited to the regional summit gathering.

At that summit, US Vice President Kamala Harris reiterated Washington’s commitment to continue the pressure on “the regime to end the horrific violence, [and] to release all those unjustly detained and to reestablish Myanmar’s path to inclusive democracy.”

Suu Kyi led Myanmar for five years before being forced from power and detained after her party was re-elected in a landslide election against military-backed opposition.

Army general Min Aung Hlaing seized power at that time in February 2021, ending Myanmar’s brief experiment with democracy, imprisoning multiple opposition figures and plunging the impoverished Southeast Asian nation into a raging civil conflict that continues to this day.

As of the end of 2022, the 78-year-old faced a total of 33 years in jail, including three years of hard labor, for multiple convictions including electoral fraud and receiving bribes.

The ruling military junta on August 1 pardoned Suu Kyi on five charges for which she was previously convicted, reducing her lengthy sentences.

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