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
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
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
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
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