Phyo Wai Aung Receives Death Sentence

Phyo Wai Aung has been sentenced to death for alleged involvement in the Rangoon water festival bombing. (Photo: AHRC)

Phyo Wai Aung, an engineer who was arrested for his alleged involvement in a spate of bombings at the Thingyan water festival in Rangoon in April 2010, was sentenced to death by a special closed court on Tuesday.

He was arrested on April 23, 2010, after being accused of involvement in the Buddhist New Year explosions that killed 10 people and injured over a hundred at the crowded X2O Pavilion in the former capital.

Various sentences handed down include the death penalty for murder, life sentences under the Criminal Act, three years detention with labor under the Immigration Act, 10 years with labor under the Demolitions Act, and three years with labor under the Unlawful Association Act.

“These are the highest sentences ever,” said Kyaw Hoe, his lawyer. “We are disappointed as the court sentenced him because of evidence submitted by the authorities which they received through torture. We will submit an appeal to Divisional Court”, Family members were not allowed to enter the court and had to wait outside instead, close relatives told The Irrawaddy.

“We hoped that we would not get this kind of sentence,” said his wife, Htay Htay. “We are so disappointed with the judicial system for these unlawful and illegal proceedings. However, we will submit appeals.”

According to his family, Phyo Wai Aung needs immediate medical attention as he is suffering from osteoarthritis on his back which prevents him from sitting or walking. He is also suspected of having liver sclerosis and his family worry that he may be moved to another prison without notice.

“The prison authorities allowed some doctors from outside to give a check-up few weeks ago,” said Htay Htay. “But the ultrasound machine in the prison hospital is not working properly so the doctors can’t diagnose the exact problem.

“He is only given painkillers and now has to move from the prison hospital to the psychiatric ward as he received a death sentence. We’ve submitted appeals to give him medical care with physicians or specialists but have not yet received a reply.”

Meanwhile, by pointing out human rights abuses in the case of Phyo Wai Aung, the Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission said in their May 6 report that the recent political transformation in Burma has not been accompanied by wider institutional reform.

The report said that Phyo Wai Aung has been tortured and illegally detained and was forced to confess about the bomb blast with these illegally obtained confessions submitted to the court.

Moreover, the closed trial at a special court inside Insein Prison used fabricated evidence and denied him the right to a defense, claims the AHRC.

6 Responses to Phyo Wai Aung Receives Death Sentence

  1. his eyes look evil. why he used engineering skills to make bombs , not machinery to improve productivity.
    he is a bad man.

    • Sir, you shouldn’t comment without knowing the whole story behind his actions. I’m not trying to say anything but negatively stereotyping people is the whole reason this world never improves. Many people are stuck with the same ideas that they’ve faced and only a few embraces the fact that there are probably reasonable motives behind everything. The Burmese government has been known for its corruption. If you consider it carefully, Phyo Wai Aung is an engineer living in a poor nation. Why would he build a bomb? You.Tell.Me.

  2. Is there any Rule of Law in Burma? If it is real criminal case why government did not make trail at criminal court is a question mark?
    Peoples need justice in Burma, just because the person is in diffirent faith ( not Buddhist in faith ) he becomes victim of the incident. Thorough the harassment is not a confession.

  3. There is a question for ” doh myanmar ” that how do you read eye, then how you know this man is evil. Do you know what is rule of law?
    A person who is not allow to make trail at the criminal court, made trail at closed court in Jail is it justice.

  4. I do not believe he did it.
    I do not believe all judges in Myanmar.
    I do not believe all police involved in this case.
    I do not believe the judical and law system in Myanmar.
    Nobody can do nothing about it?
    Why should an innocent man be given a death sentence?
    Why Than Shwe does not get such a sentence as he killed innocent students, monks and people?
    Where is law and order in Myanmar?

  5. Some high lord (usually Thein Sein) will then magnanimously rescind the sentence. Yet it is so unpleasant to be in the sitaution for Phyo Wai Aung and his family and friends.

    All would expect the military to do just that.

    The real worry is total lack of questioning and, if justified, protest by people’s champions. There are hundreds of wannabe politicians in Burma.

    We can safely conclude that they are at least publicly not objecting this glaring injustice.

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