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Anwar stricken ill, lawyers moot house arrest
Published:  Jun 30, 2015 3:45 AM
Updated: Jul 1, 2015 3:23 AM

Lawyers acting for PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim have urged the authorities to remove him from jail and place him under house arrest to enable him to have access to regular medical treatment.

In a press release today, lawyer Sivarasa Rasiah and Jared Genser said Anwar's health is deteriorating as a result of not being provided access to treatments required to address his serious health conditions.

Sivarasa and Genser said Anwar has lost 6kg since his incarceration on Feb 10 and is suffering from irregular blood pressure, a 4cm growth in his kidney, muscle tear on his shoulder and chronic arthiritis.

Among other treatments, the lawyers said, Anwar required a gluten-free diet and intensive physiotherapy, which cannot be offered in the Sungai Buloh prison.

This was deduced after Anwar was sent to the Kuala Lumpur general hospital on June 2, where he was housed for two days .

"The doctors reported to him orally that he requires further evaluation and treatment relating to a number of medical issues

"(But) the prison says it has received no medical report from the hospital requesting further testing," the statement by the lawyers says.

"At the very minimum, even if the request for house arrest is denied, he must be hospitalised for a sufficiently long time to comprehensively deal with all his medical issues."

The lawyer said the hot and humid conditions of Anwar's confinement, with minimal ventilation, have exacerbated his health problems.

"He (Anwar) has received only rare family visits once in three weeks, despite a doctor recommending he be allowed to see his family weekly.

"Family members are denied physical contact with him and speak to him through a phone across a glass panel.

"Requested visits with counsel are limited to twice a week with much scrutiny of lawyer’s files and documents."

Sivarasa and Genser's statement appears aimed at an international audience.

Genser is the head of Washington DC-based human rights group Freedom Now, an independent non-governmental organisation that works to free prisoners of conscience worldwide.

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