Suu Kyi Denied Request for Urgent Medical Care

Myanmar's former leader isn't eating well as a result of gum disease: reports
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2023 7:27 AM CDT
Military Junta's 'Cruel' Move Leaves Suu Kyi at Risk: Son
A supporter shows a portrait of former leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a protest marking the two-year anniversary of the military takeover that ousted her government outside the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, on Feb. 1, 2023.   (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File)

Myanmar's military rulers have denied a request to send an outside doctor to the imprisoned former leader Aung San Suu Kyi, 78, who is said to be in need of urgent care. "She was suffering swelling in her gums and could not eat well and is feeling light-headed along with vomiting," a source tells Reuters. Suu Kyi's son, Kim Aris, tells the Independent that his mother, who suffers from gum disease, "has been vomiting and has severe dizziness as a result of her ill health." He says urgent care was "recommended by prison authorities, but this has been denied by the military junta" in a "callous and cruel" decision. "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," adds the British national.

The decision means Suu Kyi—facing decades in prison for what the international community says are trumped up charges after her democratically-elected government was ousted in a 2021 military coup—will continue to be seen by a prisons department doctor, who has prescribed a number of medications, per the Independent. It's unclear if they will be effective at treating Suu Kyi's condition. A spokesperson for the National Unity Government, which was formed by the remains of Suu Kyi's government and other opponents of the military rulers, has urged the international community to "pressure the junta for the healthcare and security" of political detainees like Suu Kyi. Aris says he hopes to see his mother returned to her home in Yangon so she can undergo treatment there. (More Myanmar stories.)

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