The Irrawaddy

National Rights Body Urges Action Against Police Over Detainee’s Death

: People gather outside the Dedaye Township police station in Irrawaddy Region.

YANGON — The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission on Tuesday called for action against police at the Dedaye Township police station in Irrawaddy Region in connection with the death of a detainee last week.

After speaking with the dead man’s relatives, the township medical superintendent and witnesses over two days, the commission sent a report to the Home Affairs Ministry suggesting that action be taken against the police station chief, inspector and other responsible officers.

Police arrested Zaw Min Tun, 38, a resident of Dedaye’s Nyaung Ta Bin Village, on the evening of July 26 after locals filed a complaint against him for allegedly stealing their fishing nets.

According to Irrawaddy Region police, Zaw Min Tun admitted to stealing the nets. They say he died of breathing problems while on the way to a hospital at about 11 p.m. the same day.

An internal investigation led by the Pyapon District deputy police chief was launched on Friday and the Dedaye police inspector and some officers were detained, police Lieutenant Colonel Khin Maung Latt told The Irrawaddy.

Ma Thi Thi Win, a sister of Zaw Min Tun, claims that a person who was detained along with her brother said Zaw Min Tun was tied up and beaten.

“Beating to death goes far beyond the legal framework. We hope that harsh actions will be taken against them,” she said

Zaw Min Tun’s relatives said they found dark bruises on his face, chest and elsewhere on the body.

The human rights commission also claimed that the Dedaye police chief was an alcoholic and not suited for command.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.