Myanmar’s former leader, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, is reportedly in declining health, and her request for an outside physician to attend to her has been denied by the country’s military rulers, according to sources close to the matter and the shadow government loyal to her. This alarming development has raised concerns about her well-being, as she has been receiving medical care from a prisons department doctor, with her condition deteriorating.
The 78-year-old iconic figure has been suffering from swelling in her gums, which has severely impacted her ability to eat and has led to feelings of light-headedness and bouts of vomiting. The source sharing this information chose to remain anonymous out of fear of reprisal from the authorities.
Myanmar has been embroiled in a state of turmoil since early 2021 when the military orchestrated a coup, overthrowing Suu Kyi’s democratically elected government and clamping down on all opposition. The brutal crackdown has resulted in the imprisonment and death of thousands of individuals who dared to challenge military rule.
Aung San Suu Kyi herself faces a staggering 27 years of detention related to 19 criminal offenses, all of which she vehemently denies. The charges against her span a wide range, from incitement and election fraud to corruption. She has been in the process of appealing these convictions.
In July, Suu Kyi was transferred from prison in the capital city of Naypyitaw to house arrest, a move that did little to alleviate the international community’s concerns about her well-being.
The exiled National Unity Government of Myanmar, established by opponents of military rule and the remnants of Suu Kyi’s previous government, has called attention to the military junta’s responsibility for the healthcare and security of political detainees, including Aung San Suu Kyi. They have urged the international community to exert pressure on the junta to ensure the well-being of all political detainees.
Numerous governments worldwide have called for the unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi and thousands of other political prisoners. Some countries, including the United States, European Union, and the United Kingdom, have responded by imposing sanctions on Myanmar’s military in an effort to hold them accountable for their actions.
As concerns grow for Aung San Suu Kyi’s deteriorating health and well-being, the international community continues to watch closely and advocate for her release and the restoration of democracy in Myanmar.