Aung San Suu Kyi, 78, has been unable to eat due to severe toothaches, said prison sources (EPA)
"Myanmar's detained former leader Aung San Suu Kyi is being denied medical care despite her ill health, her son has said."
Kim Aris said the junta ruling the country blocked prison authorities' request for his mother's "urgent care".
Sources familiar with the matter told BBC Burmese severe toothaches have left the 78-year-old unable to eat. However, a junta spokesman said Ms Suu Kyi is in good health and gets check-ups from military and civilian doctors.
Ms Suu Kyi has been detained since February 2021 when she was ousted by a military coup. In July, she was moved from prison to house arrest in the Burmese capital Nay Pyi Taw, but it is unclear where in the city she is being held.
"To deny a sick prisoner access to recommended medical care is callous and cruel," Mr Aris said in a text message to BBC Burmese. The 46-year-old, who is based in the UK, said his mother has been vomiting and endures "severe dizziness" due to her ill health.
"Anyone who has such painful gum disease that they are unable to eat obviously has their entire health at risk if suitable treatment is denied."
Long-time acquaintances of the Nobel laureate told BBC Burmese that she has chronic gum disease and suffers from low-blood pressure, while a source familiar with the matter added that her gum issues have "gotten worse". The source noted that she has been served soft food as well as a medicated jelly intended to relieve her toothaches.
Myanmar's exiled National Unity Government - a coalition of all political parties in the country - has urged the international community to "pressure the junta" into providing appropriate treatment for political detainees like Ms Suu Kyi.
Many world leaders have called for Ms Suu Kyi's unconditional release, along with that of thousands of others detained in the junta's crackdown on protesters who opposed the coup. After the coup Myanmar descended into almost full-scale civil war, which has killed thousands of people.
The military has ruthlessly suppressed opposition, using tactics such as air strikes which have led to high civilian casualties. The country's military leaders have also been accused of war crimes by rights groups.
World leaders have condemned the coup and imposed a raft of sanctions on Myanmar's generals and military-owned companies. Once seen as an icon of democracy, Ms Suu Kyi was detained multiple times throughout her political career while rallying for democratic reform.
But her image suffered internationally during her tenure as the country's de facto leader, amid accusations that she ignored violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority.
Myanmar's coup crisis has also dominated discussions at the ongoing Asean summit in Indonesia. The South East Asian bloc's leaders have condemned the junta for the continuing violence in the country.
This is the second year in a row that Myanmar was not invited to the regional meeting since the coup.
>> Source: BBC News