Myanmar’s detained democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is facing several health issues in solitary confinement, ranging from an irregular heartbeat to festering insect bites.
The 77-year-old civilian leader had to undergo a medical check-up in early September after her heart rate quickened, according to sources familiar with the case.
She had no history of heart problems previously.
Before the coup, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was in excellent shape for her age, and had no problems with her kidneys, heart, lungs, stomach, liver or other vital organs.
However, her physical condition has started to decline since she was moved from house arrest to solitary confinement in Naypyitaw Prison in June this year, the sources said.
Moreover, she has developed itchy lumps due to insect bites. Some of these have begun to fester because the water inside the prison is not clean.
Food provided by the prison is lousy, and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has to make do with bread and milk, as well as nutritional supplements like Ensure. The poor nutrition is taking a toll on her physical condition.
She is being kept in a small building in the prison compound in Naypyitaw, where daytime temperatures are high. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi asked for six curtains to ward off the heat, but prison authorities only gave her three.
She also has to attend four trial hearings every week in cases filed against her by the regime.
The regime has detained Daw Aung San Suu Kyi since the coup in February last year and filed 20 charges against her, including 13 corruption cases. As of Sept. 2, a regime court had sentenced her to a total of 20 years and she still faces other charges.
If she is found guilty of all charges, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will have to spend the rest of her life in prison. Local and international observers see it as a deliberate strategy by the junta to remove her from politics once and for all.