National Human Rights Commission to Investigate LGBT Suicide

By Zarni Mann 27 June 2019

MANDALAY—Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) said it will investigate circumstances surrounding the suicide of Myanmar librarian Ko Kyaw Zin Win who died on Monday after being bullied by colleagues.

Commission member U Yu Lwin Aung told The Irrawaddy that MNHRC will begin its investigation on Friday.

“Since the incident is widely criticized, we have interest in it. Moreover, LGBT rights groups have sent complaints to MNHRC so we decided to start the investigation tomorrow,” said U Yu Lwin Aung.

U Yu Lwin Aung said MNHRC will invite the family members of Ko Kyaw Zin Win, the responsible persons from Myanmar Imperial University (MIU) where he worked and another person connected to the suicide for questioning during the investigation.

“We will find out what [motivated] him to commit suicide and we will hand the results of the investigation over to the relevant institution such as the Ministry of Home Affairs or any ministry to take legal action if someone involved is found guilty,” he said.

Before he passed away, Ko Kyaw Zin Win wrote a note to his family and friends on his Facebook page in which he states that he was being bullied by his colleagues for being gay and that he had faced discrimination at work. The posts have gone viral on social media.

Sympathizers and LGBT rights activists have asked for an investigation and justice.

On the day after his death, MIU released a statement saying it is investigating the incident, while three staff members suspected to have been involved have been temporarily suspended. MIU’s statement also stated it will cooperate with the police in their investigation of the death of their staff member.

Ko Kyaw Zin Win’s suicide was registered at Thaketa Township Police Station, where the police are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death.

LGBT rights groups are planning to hold a demonstration outside the MIU campus on Sunday to call for justice for Ko Kyaw Zin Win.

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