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Htun Htun Htike, the father of a young Burmese migrant on trial for murder in Thailand, died on Thursday morning from the effects of a brain tumour.
Rakhine National Network Chairman Tin Htoo Aung told DVB on 14 May said Htun Htun Htike died at his home in Kapichaung village in Kyaukphyu, on the Arakanese coast, at around 8am.
“He passed away around 8 o’clock this morning and we were informed of his death via phone about five minutes later,” said Tin Htoo Aung.
Htun Htun Htike, in his 50s, was diagnosed with a tumour in his brain after showing signs of mental stress while his 21-year-old son, Win Zaw Htun, was awaiting trial along with another Burmese migrant, Zaw Lin, in southern Thailand for the alleged murder of British tourists David Miller and Hannah Witheridge in September last year.
In the past month, he had surgery on the tumour followed by chemotherapy, but never fully recovered.
“Htun Htun Htike had an operation at Rangoon General Hospital followed by chemotherapy, but he didn’t get better. He went back to his village for a while and waited for developments in the Koh Tao case,” said Tin Htoo Aung.
His funeral will be held the same day, 14 May, in accordance with local customs, and with a Buddhist ceremony.
Htun Htun Htike travelled to Thailand in October to visit his son in prison while he was detained on charges of rape and double homicide, charges both suspects deny, saying they were tortured into giving confessions.
Speaking to DVB after meeting Win Zaw Htun in prison on the island of Koh Samui, Htun Htun Htike said that his son had told him that Thai police officers had threatened to “burn him alive” if he did not confess.