Police in a Rangoon division town have been rounding up and allegedly torturing people thought to be connected to the murder of a school teacher last month, with one detainee reported to have had his throat cut.
Zaw Lwin Oo was detained by police in connection to the murder of Hmwe Hmwe Khin, although no one has yet been charged. On 16 July, a relative of Zaw Lwin Oo said the police “overdid the interrogation” and cut his throat.
“The kid was losing blood and was submitted to hospital where he had seven stitches in his neck. His face was basically black and blue and he was unconscious until 4pm or 5pm in the afternoon.”
Locals in Khayan township said the police have arrested and violently interrogated about 10 people in the past month, mostly former students of Hmwe Hmwe Khin, who was murdered on 22 June.
The teacher, 53, was “hung from the ceiling by a motorbike chain around her neck” by robbers who made off with six million kyat [US$6,000] worth of possessions, a Khayan local said. She was a teacher at Khayan’s government-run High School 2
The day after reports surfaced about Zaw Lwin Oo’s treatment, around 40 residents from Shwebosu village where he lived arrived at the police station and demanded to see him, but police refused and later interrogated his parents. The Khayan hospital and police station were unavailable for comment.
The same group of residents are reportedly preparing to gather in front of the station again to demand access to other villagers who have been arrested in connection with the murder.
“The villagers said that if their demands are refused again tomorrow, they will bring the whole village population to protest against the human rights violations [by the police],” said the relative.
Sources said that second-year university student, Aung Kyaw Soe, a resident of Khayan’s ward 3, has been in police detention for more than 20 days and has been violently beaten.
Additional reporting by Naw Noreen