Five Civilians Tortured to Death by Myanmar Regime

By The Irrawaddy 22 December 2021

Five civilians, including a striking teacher and a married couple who were members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) Party, have been tortured to death during junta interrogations in Naypyitaw, Mandalay and Shan State.

On Tuesday, Ko Hla Min Maung, a striking school teacher, died while being interrogated by regime forces just hours after being detained in Lewe Township in Naypyitaw, one of his relatives told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.

The Muslim teacher was arrested along with a friend by the junta on Monday night while they were at a restaurant in Lewe. The same night he was transferred from police custody to a military interrogation center, while his friend remained in a police cell.

Ko Hla Min Maung had been in hiding since joining the nationwide Civil Disobedience Movement and only used to return home to Lewe on rare occasions, his relative said.

On Tuesday morning, his family were told by the regime of his death. Ko Hla Min Maung’s body was cremated by the junta, but not before some relatives were allowed to see just his face. They said that there were many injuries to the teacher’s face.

“I’d like to urge people to collaborate in the country’s revolution against the junta to end military rule quickly, as we don’t want to see any more people tortured or killed by regime forces,” said the relative of Ko Hla Min Maung.

In Pekon Township, Shan State, the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) said that two out of 19 civilians who were detained and used as human shields during a junta raid on Shwe Pyi Aye Village on October 28 were tortured to death on Tuesday.

KNDF-Pekon said that the two died while being interrogated at a police station in Taunggyi Township, Shan State.

The resistance group said that military regime forces are continuing their human rights violations in Pekon Township, including killing and raping civilians and arbitrarily arresting them.

Also on Tuesday, eight civilians including children were arrested by junta soldiers during a raid on a village in the east of Pekon Township, according to KNDF-Pekon.

Blindfolded and tied with a rope, 19 villagers are forced to march in front of a military column during a raid on a village in Pekon Township, Shan State on October 28.

On December 14, Ko Thae Htwe Maung, 32, a member of the NLD, and his wife Ma Nan, 38, died during a junta interrogation in Pyigyitagon Township, Mandalay, after being detained and accused of supplying PDFs, according to media reports.

Family members were told the following day that their bodies had already been cremated by the regime. The couple were the parents of a 10-year-old child.

Myanmar’s junta has continued its atrocities, including detaining, torturing and killing civilians, using civilians as human shields, shelling residential areas, looting and burning down houses, and acts of sexual violence, especially in Magwe and Sagaing regions and Chin, Shan and Kayah States, where PDFs are most active.

As of Tuesday, the military regime has slain 1,351 people and detained another 11,101 people including democratically elected government leaders since the February 1 coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

The Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M), a group of prominent former United Nations (UN) human rights observers, said on December 14 that the junta should be designated and treated as a terrorist organization because of its extreme acts of criminal violence against civilians.

In late September, SAC-M also urged the UN Security Council to declare the military regime a “terrorist organization” for its atrocities against civilians.

You may also like these stories:

Many Feared Dead After Jade Waste Heap Collapses in Myan-mar’s Jade Town

Junta Airstrikes Kill Over Ten People and Displace Hundreds in Upper Myanmar

India Reaches Out to Myanmar Junta