Civilian Dies While Detained By Burma Army

By Network Media Group
Friday, July 17, 2020

A family of a man who was detained by the Burma Army in conflict-wracked Rakhine State recently learned of his death during his custody after police told them to collect his body at the hospital.

Soe Myint Tun, 37, had wounds from a noose tied around his neck, says family member Kyaw Hlaing. “I also saw injuries to his neck and back and face. I think he was punched in the face with a gun butt.”

On July 11, Tatmadaw soldiers detained six men from Ahlae Chaung village, located in Yanbye Township. Police said Soe Myint Tun, 37, died on July 14.

Medical examiners performed a autopsy without the family’s permission.

Kyaw Hlaing says he’s not happy with their findings, which claim Soe Myint Tun hung himself. “Maybe they (the soldiers) hung him? I think they beat him excessively because I saw injuries and black scars on his face.”

NMG tried to call Tatmadaw’s True News Information Team for comment, but no-one responded.

The website of the Commander-in-Chief’s office stated that Arakan Army (AA) supporters were detained. Soe Myint Tun hung himself at 6:30 p.m. on July 13, it said, a day earlier than what the police told his family. The names of the six men detained by IB-34 and IB-35 soldiers, including their fathers, were listed. The website said that the five remaining suspects are being “detained at the police station for further investigation.”

Tatmadaw soldiers searched the villagers’ homes the same day they detained the men. Soe Myint Tun was working in his paddy farm when he was taken by soldiers.

Families of the men and the village leaders told NMG the men are just ordinary farmers and fishermen.

On June 21, Tatmadaw soldiers detained Nga Lon Aung, also from Ahlae Chaung. His family has not received any news since he was taken away.

Soe Myint Tun was buried by his family at 12:00 p.m. on July 15.

The other men detained by IB-34 and IB-35 are Maung Myint Win, 23, Maung Nyein Chan, 19, Maung Zaw Lin, 35, Maung Myint Tun, 37 and Maung Tun Win, 47.