NAYPYIDAW-Myanmar’s detained former leader Aung San Suu Kyi is being denied medical care despite her ill health, her son has said. Kim Aris said the junta ruling the country blocked prison authorities’ request for his mother’s “urgent care”. Sources familiar with the matter told BBC Burmese severe toothaches have left the 78-year-old unable to eat. However, a junta spokesman said Ms Suu Kyi is in good health and gets check-ups from military and civilian doctors.
Ms Suu Kyi has been detained since February 2021 when she was ousted by a military coup. In July, she was moved from prison to house arrest in the Burmese capital Nay Pyi Taw, but it is unclear where in the city she is being held.
“To deny a sick prisoner access to recommended medical care is callous and cruel,” Mr Aris said in a text message to BBC Burmese. The 46-year-old, who is based in the UK, said his mother has been vomiting and endures “severe dizziness” due to her ill health. “Anyone who has such painful gum disease that they are unable to eat obviously has their entire health at risk if suitable treatment is denied.” Long-time acquaintances of the Nobel laureate told BBC Burmese that she has chronic gum disease and suffers from low-blood pressure, while a source familiar with the matter added that her gum issues have “gotten worse”.
The source noted that she has been served soft food as well as a medicated jelly intended to relieve her toothaches. Myanmar’s exiled National Unity Government - a coalition of all political parties in the country - has urged the international community to “pressure the junta” into providing appropriate treatment for political detainees like Ms Suu Kyi.