Family of Fisherman Killed in Custody Accuses Suspect’s Uncle of Bribery

By Moe Myint 8 October 2015

RANGOON — The family of a man who was allegedly killed by police in western Burma has been offered compensation in exchange for easing charges against one of the suspects, according to the victim’s sister.

Three police constables were arrested late last month in connection with the death of fisherman Aung Chan Nu while in custody on Maday Island, Arakan State. A community activist told The Irrawaddy at the time that the inebriated off-duty officers were accused of beating the man after he refused to help them dock their schooner.

The suspects allegedly transported the injured man to the local police station, where his condition deteriorated overnight. He died in transit to Kyaukphyu General Hospital the following morning.

Nu Phu Khine, the sister of the deceased, said her family was recently visited by Maung Wai Lu, the uncle of one of the three accused policemen. The man tried to “negotiate” with Aung Chan Nu’s family, she said, but they did not accept any money from him.

“My young brother’s life is more valuable than money, I will never accept it,” Nu Phu Khine said. “He was not at fault, and I just want justice in accordance with the law.”

Maung Wai Lu could not be reached for comment, but his brother—the suspect’s father—confirmed the visit and denied that any money was offered, stating that “we are not hoping to make a deal with the [victim’s] family.”

The three suspects were apprehended on Sept. 28 and remain in custody, according to the victim’s employer. Medical records were handed over to local police last week, a hospital official said, and an investigation is still ongoing.

Kyaukphyu District Police Chief Win Kyi told The Irrawaddy that the medical examination is “secret” and no further details could be disclosed at this time.