Myanmar occasion official dies in custody amid torture allegations | Human Rights Information

A National League for Democracy (NLD) official led by the ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi died in custody after his arrest on Tuesday, a former MP said. The second party died in custody within two days.

Zaw Myat Linn of the NLD died in custody after being arrested at around 1:30 a.m. (7:00 p.m. GMT) Monday in Yangon, said Ba Myo Thein, a member of the defunct upper house of parliament.

“He has continuously participated in the protests,” said Ba Myo Thein. “Now the relatives are trying to retrieve the body in the military hospital.”

Neither the military nor the police responded to comments.

Zaw Myat Linn is the second NLD officer to have died in custody in the past two days. Khin Maung Latt, who worked as a campaign manager for an NLD MP elected in 2020, died after his arrest on Saturday.

Myanmar has been in crisis since the army overthrew the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup on February 1, arrested them and other NLD officials, and formed a group of ruling generals.

Daily protests against the coup are taking place across the country and the security forces have cracked down on them.

More than 60 protesters were killed and nearly 1,800 detained, said the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), an advocacy group.

People offer food in front of a roadside memorial with pictures of anti-coup protesters killed by security forces in Myanmar [AP Photo]Maung Saungkha, an activist and friend of Zaw Myat Linn, said his family had been asked to retrieve his body and he was not told how he died.

Her death has raised questions about whether the military tortures and kills inmates.

Witnesses said Khin Maung Latt’s body sustained wounds consistent with torture, according to Human Rights Watch of New York.

“Transfer him back”

Meanwhile, Myanmar reminded its British ambassador back Tuesday, the day after urging the military to release Aung San Suu Kyi, state media reported.

The MRTV news channel said Kyaw Swar Min released the statement without following orders.

“Since he did not behave in accordance with given responsibilities, an order [was issued] to call him and bring him back to the State Department, “it said.

The army justified the coup on the grounds that a November election won by the NLD was compromised by fraud – a claim that was rejected by the electoral commission. It promised a new vote but did not say when it could take place.

International powers have condemned the takeover, which failed a slow transition to democracy in a country long ruled by the military since independence from Britain in 1947.

Anti-coup protesters use fire extinguishers to reduce the effects of tear gas fired by riot police in Yangon [AP Photo]

Widespread protests

According to local news and social media, protest marches took place in cities across the country, but they were quickly broken up by security forces who fired tear gas and stunned grenades.

About 1,000 protesters cautiously took to the streets of the country’s second largest city, Mandalay. The protest took place despite the security forces showing little reluctance to use lethal force to break up crowds.

Those who marched gathered only a few minutes before dispersing to avoid possible confrontation with riot police. Another group protested mobile and rode motorbikes through the streets.

At least two people were injured, one from a gunshot, in the northern city of Mohnyin, local media said.

The protesters have adjusted their tactics to respond to escalating violence by the security forces, including shooting live ammunition at crowds.

The government’s deadly crackdown has not halted widespread protests.

Police arrested about 50 people overnight who were cornered by security forces in a district of Myanmar’s capital, Yangon, a rights group said.

But hundreds managed to escape the encirclement after a crowd of protesters banded together in support despite a night curfew.

The United Kingdom, the United States and some other western countries have imposed limited sanctions on the generals.

According to diplomats and two internal documents from the Reuters news agency, the European Union is preparing to extend its sanctions to army-run companies.

“We have strongly condemned the junta for the … violent raids on those who take to the streets peacefully and those who are doing their jobs, including independent journalists who have been carried away,” the State Department said.

The military has dismissed condemnation of its actions – as in earlier periods of military rule when outbreaks of protest were bloodily suppressed.

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