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Akha Prisoners in Thailand Prisons

Akha Male Inmates - Akha Female Inmates


Akha Men In Bangkwang Prison

- reported by Paul Hunt 30 April 2003

Today I visited Ahman Saedugu who works as doctor's assistant in Bangkwang's hospital block #12. He is number 96, the last on this revised list. He comes from Doi Chang, an Akha village in Northern Thailand. Ahman was arrested in Bangkok on May 6th, 1992 for possession of heroine. He claims it was not his, but his case partner's. His case partner has already died of AIDS in another prison.

Ahman has been working in Bangkwang's hospital block for 5 years. The first year he was working there he caught TB, and fought the disease for 6 months. He still has pains in the side of his chest from that time.

He says there are 56 sick inmates in Bangkwang's prison hospital at present. There are 21 with TB, and 7 with AIDS. He says new AIDS cases are often coming in, while deaths also keep the number of cases in constant flux.

The prison only supplies simple medicines, such as paracetemol. No special drugs to relieve AIDS are available for prisoners.

One old doctor comes to work half days at the prison hospital. Another young doctor spends most of his time doing paperwork, and only helps with patient care when the old doctor is absent. There has been no dentist at Bangkwang for 2 years. Ahman says that many inmates have toothache and dental problems, but there is nobody there to help them.

The calm equanimity with which Ahman recounted all this to me, without a word of complaint, I've found to be a characteristic of the Akha people. When I asked what supplies to send in from the prison shop, he also said he needed nothing for himself. I had already sent him some simple toiletries and food. But he said it would be good to give Asepso soap to patients. The prisons in Thailand do not even supply soap to prisoners, not even to sick prisoners. Not without paying for it.

So I sent in Asepso soap, a carton of noodles, and some fruit. Ahman was the last prisoner I visited on this trip. He and his story will burn in my mind all the way back to England - to the other side of this poor planet of ours.

Click Here for list of male inmates


Akha Women In Lard Yao Women's Prison

- reported by Paul Hunt 23rd April 2003

The following list of names and details about the Akha women in Lard Yao prison, Bangkok, is the situation as best as I can draw up at present. There are many problems you should be aware of. Akha names have no standard way of being written, and different spellings have often been used for the same name by the Akha themselves.

The Thai authorities have difficulty with Akha names, therefore many Akha prisoners use Thai names. Thus when visiting these prisoners it is essential to use the same name the Thai officials use for that prisoner. This is often not their real name. The language problem is often used as the main excuse for ignoring these prisoners even by missionary groups. Some of these prisoners whom I've visited said they've had no visitors or assistance at all while they've been in prison. Some have never been called into the visiting room at all.

The situation is changing, with new arrivals and occasional releases. On 6th April 2003, Aba Yer Sor died in Room #7, the Lard Yao prison hospital. She was in her 30s, and probably died from TB. She had not been well since her transfer from Chiangrai Prison in the north. Her husband is in Chiangrai Prison. Their prison names will be given first. If their Akha names are different they will be given in brackets. Their age, date of arrest, sentence, prison building number, home and other details will be given if known. Mistakes are likely, but I do try to be as accurate as possible.

Click Here for list of female inmates


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