ANP Demands Accountability After Man Dies of Injuries During Tatmadaw Interrogation

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Arakan National Party (ANP) has demanded that President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi take legal action against the military for human rights abuses against civilians in Rakhine State.

The ANP statement follows the death of Aye Kyaw, a 37-year-old trishaw driver from Myo Thit ward in Mrauk U town, who was arrested by Burma Army soldiers on September 27. He died one day later of injuries sustained in military custody.

The Burma Army’s True News Information Team alleged that Aye Kyaw was an officer in the Arakan Army (AA) and killed himself while being interrogated.

“Aye Kyaw, a sergeant in the AA, stole a pistol from an officer on the investigation team on the morning of September 28, during breakfast. He then shot himself dead,” the military’s news team reported on September 29.

ANP spokesperson Aye Nu Sein called the military’s claim “nonsense,” and noted that it was only published after the ANP released its statement demanding accountability.

“[Aye Kyaw] was detained by the army for 24 hours. There were many injuries on his body. Is it logical that he stole a pistol and killed himself?” Aye Nu Sein told NMG, insisting that he was tortured. “We want justice for him. […] We want action to be taken against the perpetrators in accordance with the law.”

She explained that the ANP has notified the President, State Counsellor and the military’s commander-in-chief about ongoing human rights abuses in Rakhine State, but have never received a response.

A relative of Aye Kyaw said that soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 377 arrested him while he was driving his 76-year-old grandmother in his trishaw, and rejected any allegations that he had ties to the AA.

“He was not connected to the AA,” the relative said. “He had a one-month-old baby. His family is facing difficulties since his death. I don’t know what we should do. We want justice for him.”

In their September 29 report, the Tatmadaw’s information team said that they detained Aye Kyaw after “discovering information on his phone about his communication with the AA” after they stopped him while he was driving his trishaw in Mrauk U.