(June 30): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has ordered proper medical treatment for jailed former opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, whose deteriorating health includes a growth on his kidney and irregular blood pressure.
"I take note of DS Anwar Ibrahim's health and I want the relevant authorities to ensure that he receives the appropriate treatment," Najib tweeted at his handle @NajibRazak this evening.
This follows a press statement by Anwar's lawyer R. Sivarasa and Jared Genser, a lawyer from the Freedom Now organisation that advocates for prisoners of conscience worldwide, urging that Anwar be placed under house arrest instead so that he could receive treatment for several ailments.
They said the PKR de facto leader had lost 6kg since the start of his jail sentence for sodomy in February. The growth on his kidney was 4cm, and he also had gastritis, chronic athirst and a shoulder muscle tear.
Sivarasa said that the Sungai Buloh jail where Anwar is serving his sentence in solitary confinement had no facilities for any testing or treatment of these conditions.
"It is urgent that he be transferred immediately to house arrest where he can be permitted to visit his own doctors for regular medical care and treatment," the PKR lawyer said.
Anwar had a medical examination earlier this month which uncovered some of these health issues.
He has also lost weight since beginning his five-year jail sentence on February 10, when the Federal Court quashed his appeal and upheld his conviction for sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.
Anwar and his lawyers have maintained that the sodomy charges, trial and conviction were pat of a political conspiracy to end his political career.
Sivarasa said the conditions he is now being kept in are a continued injustice.
"Anwar is being held in solitary confinement in a bare cell, having a bucket for bathing, a squat toilet, and being held in hot and humid conditions with minimal ventilation. These are exacerbating his health problems.
"In addition, he has received only rare family visits, despite a doctor recommending he be allowed to see his family weekly. Requested visits with counsel are often denied," Sivarasa said. – The Malaysian Insider