Pathein Air Force Officer Charged After Attack on Couple

By Salai Thant Zin 27 May 2013

A Burmese air force officer and his father have reportedly been charged with assaulting a couple in Pathein Township, Irrawaddy Division, after an argument broke out when they parked a car in front of the officer’s house on Thursday.

Myo Wai, one of the victims, said he and his wife parked their vehicle nearby the gate of a house for about 10 minutes when Phyo Pyit Aung, a 27-year-old major in a Pathein Township Air Defense Force unit, entered into an argument with them.

“I came to do some shopping. I did not stop in front of their gate. I was about 20 feet [7 meter] away from his gate,” he said, adding that he and his wife had come to visit nearby Phu Thar market

“He told me to move my car. I told him that when your car comes out I will move my car, and there is enough space for you to drive out,” Myo Wai said.

The major then became aggressive and allegedly began slapping Myo Wai and throwing bricks at him.

“I avoided the first throw, but it hit me the second time on my head and I fell down unconscious. Then, he stepped on my chest and kicked me,” Myo Wai claimed, adding that his wife was also beaten when she tried to stop the violence.

Moments later, the officer’s father, Aung Nyein, came out of the house and hit the car owner with an iron bar, according to the victims.

Several hundred local residents gathered to see the incident, but none intervened as the officer has a reputation for abusing his power against people in the neighborhood.

“We do not dare to stop it. We already found out that one person who attempted to stop it got into the trouble because of the major,” said an old man who witnessed the incident.

He added that Maj Phyo Pyit Aung had become embroiled in arguments with those parking near his home for at least four times before.

“For a long time, we wanted some action to be taken against this major in accordance with the rule of law,” said a local shopkeeper, who preferred not to be named.

The victims were taken to Pathein Public Hospital for treatment of their injuries.

Myo Wai said police had charged the perpetrators with voluntarily causing grievous hurt, which carries a prison sentence of up to seven years, and assaulting a woman with intent to outrage her modesty, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment.

“I want the police to take effective action within the law against these two persons,” said Myo Wai. He added however, that officer and his father had already been released on bail over the weekend.

The officer could not be reached for comment.