South Dagon man beaten and jailed by ward officials

Nov 27, 2007 (DVB), A man from South Dagon township, Rangoon, was stabbed and beaten by local officials after his mother filed a complaint about him to the ward Peace and Development Council.

Daw Than Win, from South Dagon township, said that she went to the ward (55) PDC at about 10pm on 29 October after having an argument with her son, Ko Than Naing.

Ward PDC officials and Swan Arr Shin members came to her house shortly afterwards and surrounded the building.

One Swan Arr Shin member, Myo Lwin, went into the house and stabbed Ko Than Naing as he was trying to flee through the back door.

Daw Than Win said the officials and Swan Arr Shin members continued to chase her son as he ran away from the house, shouting to the neighbours that he was a thief that they were trying to stop.

"They caught him finally and beat him up before taking him in handcuffs to the ward PDC office," said Daw Than Win.

"I only went to the ward PDC office because I wanted the ward officials to talk to my son who was very drunk at the time. I never expected them to be as harsh on him as this."

Daw Than Win said Ko Than Naing's whole body was covered in bruises after the attack.

Zaw Latt, a police officer who was also involved in the beating, decided not to send him to prison straight away, and so he was held on remand at the local police station for two weeks while he recovered from his injuries before being sent to Insein prison in Rangoon.

Ko Than Naing has been charged with possession of the knife that Myo Lwin used to stab him, and told his mother he was forced by Zaw Latt to sign a document confessing to the offence.

Daw Than Win told DVB that she tried to negotiate with the police to stop her son being sent to Insein prison.

"The [township] police chief Win Thein said they could drop the case if I paid them 400,000 kyat. But I begged them to just accept 200,000 Kyat and they agreed to it," she said.

"So I mortgaged my house-holder contract and brought the money to them. But then, they just refused to accept it and sent my son straight to Insein."

Reporting by Moe Aye

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