Anwar's lawyers seek house arrest order, citing deteriorating health

Anwar Ibrahim's lawyers are seeking a house arrest order for the former opposition leader.
Anwar Ibrahim's lawyers are seeking a house arrest order for the former opposition leader.PHOTO: AFP

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Lawyers for Anwar Ibrahim want him to be held under house arrest so that he can get access to medical care and treatment.

His lawyer R. Sivarasa claimed that Anwar's health is deteriorating rapidly in Sungai Buloh prison as he is not being provided access to required treatment.

The former opposition leader had previously been admitted to Hospital Kuala Lumpur on June 2 before being discharged on June 5.

In a statement on Tuesday, Sivarasa claimed that the doctors told Anwar he requires further evaluation and treatment relating to a number of medical issues including irregular blood pressure, a 4-cm growth on his kidney that requires a CT scan, gastritis that requires a gluten-free diet, and a shoulder muscle tear and chronic arthritis that require intensive physiotherapy.

Sivarasa added that the prison said it had received no medical reports from the hospital requesting further testing and it has no facilities for any testing or treatment of the conditions.

"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 are exacerbating his health problems," Sivarasa said, adding that Anwar has lost 6kg since his initial detention.

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak expressed his concern over Anwar's health. "I take note of Anwar's health and I want relevant parties to ensure that he receives the required medical attention," he tweeted. 

Anwar was jailed in February for five years for sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.