Myanmar Death Toll at the Hands of the Junta Climbs to 810
By The Irrawaddy 21 May 2021
Myanmar junta forces killed at least 25 more people in the past 10 days, pushing the country’s death toll to 810 since the Feb. 1 coup.
Among those killed between May 12 to May 21 were a 10-year-old child, students, passers-by, detainees who were tortured to death and civilian resistance fighters.
Lian Muan Sang, 10, was killed in an explosion in Tedim, northern Chin State, on Wednesday evening. The explosion also injured a 6-year-old child.
There have been frequent explosions in Tedim since the coup, and the town has also seen a number of its residents shot dead by junta forces. In the most recent incident on May 16, 27-year-old Pa Go Sian Mung, a father of two, was fatally shot by junta troops while driving a motorbike on his way back home from a farm.
Seven more people were killed as a result random gunfire by the regime’s forces in the 10-day period. Among them, four were from Bago Region and one each from Chin State’s Mindat, Karen State’s Myawaddy and Mandalay Region’s Myingyan Township.
Ko Ngwe Thein, father of a four-year-old daughter, was killed after being shot by regime troops about 7 p.m. on Wednesday in Pyay Township of Bago Region, when he was on his way back from a barber shop to his home. The forces shot him when he drove away in fear of them. Then they dragged him away. The family was informed of his death on the evening of the next day. The body was not returned to the family.
In another incident in Bago Region, Htet Zaw Linn also known as Nyan Sue, 26, who was out for lunch at a restaurant, was shot and detained during a raid. He was shot from behind and taken. Hours later, his family was told to retrieve his body.
In Chin State’s Mindat, assistant electrical engineer Wai Phyo Thant was killed by artillery fire while he was on the job. And In Myawaddy of Karen State, 27-year-old Zin Mar Phyu, the wife of a sergeant from the regime’s regiment deployed in the town, was shot dead by junta forces about 9:30 pm on Thursday. She was riding in a vehicle that did not stop when ordered. Troops opened fire on the car, fatally wounding her.
In Myingyan, Ko Tun Oo, a rice miller, died at the hospital from a gunshot wound to the head. He was shot in while he was trying to close the door of his house during the regime forces’ raid into the wards in mid-April.
Tortured to Death in Custody
The number of detainees tortured to death by the junta has continued to rise during the 10-day period.
In the most recent incident, Khin Maung Kyi, a local election official in Taungdwingyi of Magwe Region, was tortured to death after a few hours of detention. He had been arrested along with five other villagers on Wednesday. The group had returned from hiding to tend their crops and were arrested after informants told troops about their whereabouts. The status of the other five is unknown.
Khin Maung Kyi’s dead body showed evidence of a broken jaw, arms and ribs and had a wound in stomach.
In Yangon’s South Dagon Township, which has been under martial law since March, two detained residents also died due to injuries suffered from torture while in custody.
The family of Ko Kyaw Kyaw, 42, who was arrested on May 14 in South Dagon Township, received permission to bury his decaying body but had to sign a paper saying that he died from his medical conditions, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which tracks detentions and killings, stated in a recent report.
The body had wounds consistent with torture and bruises on the face. The mouth also appeared to have broken teeth and the entire mouth was swollen, the AAPP stated. The junta closely followed the funeral, and no one was allowed to take pictures.
In another case in the township, Eal Su, 30, who was brutally beaten and then arrested on May 4, died on May 16 as a result of his injuries during torture, the AAPP reported.
Zin Ko Tun, 22, a student in Talote Town in Mandalay Region, was shot and wounded while serving as a security guard for the town on May 12. He died later due to torture.
During the past 10 days, at least 11 civilian fighters were killed in Chin State and one in Sagaing Region while fighting against the junta.
The junta troops used heavy explosives and rocket-propelled grenades during the shootouts with civilian resistance forces in Mindat and Hakha of Chin State.
Mass Arrests Continue
The junta continues to escalate its arrests of opponents of the military coup with at least 170 more arrested in the past 10 days. Included are members of the ousted National League for Democracy (NLD), activists, striking civil servants, journalists and anti-regime protesters.
Daw Ni Ni May Myint, and Daw Chit Chit Chaw, two former elected lawmakers from Taungup Township, Rakhine State, were arrested in Yangon on May 12. Daw Ni Ni May Myint was reportedly detained while she was taking her child to school. Her younger brother was also detained recently.
Dr. Tin Min Htut, an MP of Pantanaw Township, Ayeyaraddy Region, was detained by junta forces at his home last Saturday night.
On Thursday, U Than Hlaing Gyi, an MP of Pinlebu Township in Sagaing Region, and U Lin Lin Oo, an MP of Tanai Township in Kachin State, were arrested.
About noon Friday, two ethnic Kachin youth political activists, Lum Zawng and Seng Nu Pan, were violently arrested by junta troops in Kachin State’s capital Myitkyina when they returned from the funeral of Seng Nu Pan’s grandfather. Both were candidates in the 2020 general election for the Kachin State People’s Party.
Three others, including the younger brother of Seng Nu Pan, were also arrested. All detainees were sent to Myitkyina Prison.
According to the AAPP, as of May 20, more than 5,308 had been arrested. Of those, 4,212 were still being detained by the junta.
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