Ethnic Minority Student Killed in Myanmar Junta Custody

By The Irrawaddy 19 October 2021

A final-year engineering student who led anti-regime protests in Naypyitaw and Mandalay has died in military custody, his friends told The Irrawaddy.

Ko Lin Paing Soe, a Buddhist Gurkha student from Kyaukse Technological University, was tortured because of his ethnicity and died on his first night in custody, said his friend, who is a member of Mandalay Yadanabon University student union.

“We only just learned that he died. He died soon after he was detained on Sept. 30. He was beaten because he was non-Burmese and died in interrogation. The regime said he was sent to Obo Prison in Mandalay, which was a lie,” he told The Irrawaddy.

Ko Lin Paing Soe led protests in Mandalay and Naypyitaw and was detained with two classmates and a striking nurse when junta forces in Mandalay raided the houses of protest leaders on Sept. 30.

They were beaten by junta soldiers while being taken away, said another friend.

He said a military source says they were taken to Mandalay Palace and interrogated the whole night.

“I was told [soldiers] used racially and religiously offensive language against Ko Lin Paing Soe during interrogation and he was beaten inhumanely,” said his friend.

His death was only revealed on Monday. “It is the inhumanity of the fascist military. Besides jailing civilians, they are killing people and covering up the deaths. Ko Lin Paing Soe’s family should have been told about his death,” said his friend.

The military regime has used live ammunition on peaceful protesters and rammed them with vehicles. It has detained thousands of anti-regime activists and striking government employees.

Non-Buddhists, LGBT people, student union members and National League for Democracy supporters were reportedly subjected to harsher torture during interrogation.

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