Convicted Mother in Tailor Shop Torture Case Dies in Prison

By Htun Htun 15 January 2018

YANGON — Daw Tin Thuzar, 59, who was serving a prison sentence of 16 years and one month for torturing two young domestic workers, died on Saturday at the Insein Prison hospital, according to her lawyer Daw Hnin Su Aung.

Daw Tin Thuzar is one of four members of the family that owns the Ava Tailor Shop in Yangon sentenced for the crime by Yangon Division’s western district court in December.

She, her daughter Su Mon Latt, son Tin Min Latt, and son-in-law Yar Zar Tun were charged under the 1993 Child Law, the Anti-trafficking in Persons Law and Article 326 of the Penal Code for voluntarily causing grievous harm using dangerous weapons and means.

Daw Tin Thuzar and Su Mon Latt were sentenced to 16 years and one month. Yar Zar Tun was sentenced to 13 years and one month, and Tin Min Latt received nine years and one month.

Daw Tin Thuzar’s husband, U Ko Latt, and daughter Thiri Latt were charged but later acquitted because the court found no evidence tying them to the crime.

“She told her family members to forgive her wrongdoing before she died,” said Daw Hnin Su Aung.

The funeral was held in accordance with Muslim customs at Yayway Cemetery on Sunday. She had been suffering from diabetes and related diseases. The Insein Prison authority allowed her to receive treatment at the prison hospital and at Insein’s People’s Hospital, said prison Warden U Myo Oo.

“We allowed her to receive treatment both at an outside hospital and the prison hospital. We also allowed her to see specialists who visit the prison once a month. But her other family members are in good health,” he said.

Daw Tin Thuzar’s three incarcerated family members were allowed to see her corpse in prison, but they were not allowed to attend the funeral.

“Even though they are serving time, they should have been allowed to attend the funeral of their mother. They are still humans and will feel sorry that they could not pay their final respects to their mother.  According to their religious traditions, the funeral has to be organized by the son, and there were therefore some difficulties,” said Daw Hnin Su Aung.

Her daughter Su Mon Latt lost consciousness upon hearing of her mother’s death and received treatment at the prison hospital, the lawyer said, adding that her condition was unknown.

She said her clients had not yet decided whether to appeal the court verdicts.

The two tortured girls, who are about 19 years old, suffered five years of abuse at the hands of the family before the crime came to light in August 2016. The family members were arrested and prosecuted amid widespread public outcry.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.