FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM
At least five political prisoners have been confirmed killed. The families of Aung Myo Thu, Khant Linn Naing, Pyae Phyo Hein, Yar Lay (aka Zin Myint Tun), and Pyae Phyo Aung were notified that the five were killed while allegedly attempting to escape during a prison transfer from Bago Region’s Daik-U Prison (Kyaiksakaw) to Thayarwady Prison on June 27.
The families received notification of their deaths at the hands of prison authorities on July 8-11 following news reports of political prisoners going missing during a prison transfer two weeks ago. “I got a letter on July 11, informing me my husband was killed. According to the letter, he was killed on June 27,” said Zin Myint Tun’s wife.
She was grieving the loss of her husband but frustrated at the delay in receiving the news of his death. Zin Myint Tun’s body was not returned to his family, raising doubts for them that he was actually killed during an escape attempt.
Aung Myo Thu’s wife said there was a lot of confusion surrounding the death of her husband. Prison authorities sent her a letter stating her husband had been killed but gave her another man’s name. “The name they mentioned was not my husband’s. They said it was Pyae Phyo Hein. I visited the district police office and they confirmed my husband’s death. The letter was mistakenly sent to me instead of Pyae Phyo Hein’s family. So, both my husband and Pyae Phyo Hein were killed,” said Aung Myo Thu’s wife.
“My husband also went missing. When I contacted the Bago District Police Station, they told me that the political prisoners were divided into two groups,” said one of the political prisoners’ wives on the condition of anonymity.
Bago Police told her that 14 prisoners were scheduled to be transferred to Thayarwady Prison, and another 31 were being transferred to Insein Prison. They added that the vehicle carrying the group to Thayarwady was in a road traffic accident. The prisoners reportedly tried to escape, but the officers killed them.
“My husband is said to be included in the vehicle going to Insein Prison. But Insein Prison said he was not there. He is still missing,” she added.
The Bago Police claimed to be unaware of the incident when contacted by DVB. Anonymous sources close to the Daik-U Prison department revealed that a total of 70 people, including 40 political prisoners, have gone missing.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) spoke out against the use of prison transfers as a form of “extrajudicial killing.” It adds that the transfer of prisoners without informing their families is a violation of both prison procedures and international law. AAPP states that 150 prisoners have died due to inadequate healthcare and torture inside Burma’s prisons since the 2021 military coup.