NLD Members Found Dead With Signs of Torture After Detention by Myanmar Troops

By The Irrawaddy 4 July 2022

Two National League for Democracy (NLD) members who were detained by the regime last week alongside party lawmaker U Kyaw Myo Min were found dead near a village in Mon State’s Bilin Township on Saturday. U Kyaw Myo Min is an elected state MP representing the township.

U Pan Myint, 55, and U Ko Ko Maung, 52, were captured along with U Kyaw Myo Min, and arms and ammunition were reportedly seized from them, after they encountered 100 junta troops near the village of Lel Ka Te on June 22.

A local resistance fighter said: “They were bound and taken to Dawkangyi Village monastery, where they were beaten during interrogation. U Pan Myint and U Ko Ko Maung were shot dead on June 30. We collected their bodies after villagers reported [the incident] to us.”

Their bodies were badly disfigured when they were found. Ousted lawmaker U Kyaw Myo Min, who is also the chairman of the Bilin Township NLD, was so badly injured during interrogation that he could barely walk, his colleagues said. His current condition is not known, they said.

A spokesman for the Karen National Liberation Army’s Brigade 1 based in Mon State’s Thaton District said U Pan Myint and U Ko Ko Maung were brutally tortured before being executed.

U Kyaw Myo Min won a seat representing Bilin Township in the Mon State Parliament in the 2020 general election, whose results the regime scrapped. He has been in hiding since the regime issued an arrest warrant and opened incitement and terrorism cases against him over his participation in anti-coup protests.

It is still unclear which military unit’s forces arrested him. Units under the 8th Military Operations Command based in Tanintharyi Region’s Dawei and units of the military’s Division 44 are active in the area.

The troops involved in the arrest advanced from Mae Pali strategic hill in Bilin through eastern Karen State before withdrawing to Bilin. Locals allege that the troops abducted villagers for forced labor and destroyed and looted houses in the villages they passed through.

It is widely alleged that the regime was responsible for bomb blasts at NLD offices in Bilin, Kyaikto and Thaton townships in Mon State in October last year.