Family of forced labour victims receive legal threats

Apr 23, 2009 (DVB), The family of two brothers who died during a forced labour incident are being threatened with legal action by village authorities after they complained about the incident to an international monitoring body.

Min Oo and Myint Aung, aged 30 and 22 respectively, were killed when a hole they were digging for the construction of a school in Bago's Kyauktaga township collapsed, burying them instantly.

A resident of Gway Gon village, where the two men are from, said their family filed a complaint about their sons' death to the International Labour Organisation in Rangoon.

Following this, the chairmen of the village Peace and Development Council and the school's Administration Committee said they could be charged and thrown into prison for their action.

"The chairmen said to the family they were not afraid of the ILO and that nothing would come from their complaint," said the villager under condition of anoymity.

"They said they can sue the family and put them in prison for what they did."

The two men were forced by village authorities to work on the school despite the government providing a budget for school building expenses that included money to hire workers.

The family were summoned to Provincial Peace and Development Council office in Bago earlier this month but no update on the situation has given.

Reporting by Khin Hnin Htet

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