Man dies during junta interrogation in Myanmar’s Bago region

Kyaw Zin Lat’s body was reportedly covered in wounds when returned to his family.
By RFA Burmese
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Man dies during junta interrogation in Myanmar’s Bago region The entrance to Shwegyin township, Bago region is seen in a file photo.
Citizen journalist

A 40-year-old civilian has died after being arrested while on his way to work in Bago region, according to a statement by the Karen National Union.

On Jan. 22, Kyaw Zin Lat, from a village in Shwegyin township, was captured by troops from junta Infantry Battalion 207, which is based in neighboring Mon state but was patrolling an area controlled by the ethnic group’s armed wing in Bago. He was heading to Theinzayat town in Mon state, where he worked as a motorcycle taxi driver.

Kyaw Zin Lat was accused of being a member of a local People’s Defense Force and held for interrogation. His body was returned to his family three days later covered in wounds, the Karen National Union said.

Mon state junta spokesman Aung Kyi Thein told RFA he knew nothing about the incident.

The Karen National Union’s Karen National Liberation Army is Myanmar’s first ethnic armed group, and one of its most powerful. It fought a fierce campaign for self-determination before signing a ceasefire in 2015 and was the first ethnic army to oppose the military’s 2021 coup, according to the Washington-based Stimson Center.

According to figures compiled by RFA, 156 people have died in junta interrogations since the coup two years ago. The actual number may be much higher, since the junta rarely comments on deaths in custody.

On Jan. 23, troops arrested two men and a teenage boy at a checkpoint in Sagaing region. Soldiers beat them to death and dumped their bodies the following day according to sources close to the military.

Nearly 3,000 people have died nationwide due to the suppression of anti-regime protests, arbitrary arrests and killings in rural areas, and torture during interrogations since Feb. 1, 2021, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma).

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.


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