The Mae Tao Clinic is something of an institution in Mae Sot and the surrounding border areas. Without it, you start to wonder just how many people might have died over the years. It is a truely remarkable place run by truely remarkable people – there is really no other way to describe it. Founded and directed by Dr. Cynthia Maung, it provides free health care for refugees, migrant workers, and other individuals who cross the border from Burma to Thailand. It was established in the aftermath of the mass demonstrations in 1988 when thousands fled to the border to begin their fight for democracy. I have had the honour of visiting many times and thanks to my friend Eh Thwa (a manager at the clinic) I have been given unrestricted access throughout the clinic to document and photograph accordingly. But this time the visit was different – I was here to photograph Dr Tun Thu, a former political prisoner who has been working at the clinic for many years. Dr Tun Thu was detained for 8 years in Insein prison and Tharawaddy prison for his political activities. He fled to teh border like many of his colleagues and has been working at the Mae Tao clinic ever since.
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