Statement regarding the visit to the Prison and Police lockup of Kaw Thaung Township and Myeik Township situated in Tanintharyi Region Statement No.(14/2015)

1. Commission Members U Zaw Win and Dr. Nyan Zaw accompanied by the Staff of Myanmar National Human Rights Commission visited the Prison and Police Lockup of Kaw Thaung Township and Myeik Township situated in Tanintharyi Region from 7 to 9 October 2015.

2. The findings of the visit are as follows:

(a) The inmates of Myeik Prison far exceeds the capacity of the Prison. Attics have been put in place in some sleeping quarters of the Prison.The Prison is found to be congested.

(b) Both Kaw Thaung and Myeik Prison have prisoners who have served for more than 14 years.

(c) There are only two health personnel in Kaw Thaung Prison. Myeik Prison has a doctor but no nurse and midwife.

(d) The Central Medical Stores Department of both Prisons have inadequate supply of medicines.

(e) Both Prisons have prisoners who are natives of very remote places.

(f) There is a shortage of drinking water supply during summer in both prisons.

(g) Uniforms have not been issued to some male and female prisoners within the prescribed period.

(h) In Kaw Thaung Myoma Police Lock-up, the team found a detainee with bruises on his face. It was learnt that he suffered injuries when he put up a fight to resist the arrest. He has been arrested just that morning for infringement of Psychotropic Drug Act.

(i) The inmate food allowances posted on the board of Myeik Myoma Police station is not in line with the current allowances.

Recommendations

3. Kaw Thaung Prison

(a) Throughout the country only 3 Central Prisons can detain young person between 16 and 18 years of age. As the young offenders have increased in number, the prisons in Regions and States have to construct separate sleeping quarters to detain the young prisoners. Vocational trainings for them should also be expanded.

(b) Medical personnel should be appointed according to the organizational set up. Priority must be given for the appointment of a Medical Doctor.

(c) Books on education, health and general knowledge should be kept in the library.

(d) Medicines supplied by the Central Medical Store Department for prisons should be negotiated with the Ministry of Health.

(e) A female prisoner who had already served 14 years should have her case reviewed according to the Prison Manual.

(f) For the more than 60 prisoners from the States and Regions outside of  Kaw Thaung Township should have their transfer considered in line with the Prison Manual.

(g) Plans should be made for providing water during the summer. The availability of water and its systematic use should also be explained to the prisoners.

(h) Educational talks on Drugs should be held often as more than half of the prisoner population has been sentenced for infringement of Psychotropic Drug Act.

(i) Counseling should be made for diseases and numb pain which can occur in the cold season. Necessary medicines should also be collected and stored.

4. Myeik Prison

(a) Sleeping quarters for the prisoners should be constructed in order to alleviate the congestion of the prison. For prisoners from far-away places, provision should be provided for transfer to nearby prisons.

(b) For the 6 prisoners who have been imprisoned for more than 14 years, revisions considered according to Prison Manual.

(c) The latrines in the prison’s hospital have covers on them. Arrangements should also be made for all other latrines in the sleeping quarters to be provided with covers.

(d) Nurses and midwives should be appointed to fill the vacancies.

(e) Provisions for issuance of uniforms within the prescribed timeframe should be made for all male and female prisoners.

(f) For those prisoners who are not natives of Tanintharyi Region preferences should be given for transfer to prisons near their place of residence.

(g) For the 23 inmates who have been detained for more than 6 months arrangement should be made for speedy disposal of their cases.

(h) A separate workshop should be constructed and vocational trainings should be carried out continuously.

Kaw Thaung Myoma Police Station

5. Recommendations for Kaw Thaung Myoma Police Station are as follows:- (a) Timely medical treatment should be given to prisoners who were injured while resisting arrest and the medical reports kept properly. (b) Supervisions should be made on contractors to provide meals to the prisoners according to prescribed rates.

Myeik Myoma Police Lock-up

6. To update the meal allowances prescribed by the State on the notice board of the police station.

Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

Dated: 19 October 2015