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Prison authorities state political prisoner killed trying to escape

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

The Political Prisoners Network Myanmar (PPNM) stated on Thursday that a political prisoner in Dawei Prison, located in the Tanintharyi Region capital, was killed after prison authorities said he’d tried to escape on March 16. 

“There are several cases of prisoners who were killed under similar circumstances,” said Theik Tun Oo, a PPNM spokesperson. “The lives of political prisoners in prisons are not safe and they may be killed at any time.” 

Win Thiha Aung, 35, was convicted of incitement under Section 505(a) of the Penal Code and two counts under the Counter Terrorism Law. He was handed a seven year prison sentence in 2022. Theik Tun Oo claimed that the authorities did not inform Win Thiha Aung’s family of his death. 

Calls are growing for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to be allowed to access prisons in Burma. PPNM stated this is the only way to pressure the regime and its Prison Department to investigate the deaths of political prisoners.  

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) states that 26,452 people have been arrested since the 2021 military coup and 20,280 remain in prison. Noble Aye, a longtime pro-democracy activist in Burma, was killed in Waw Township of Bago Region on Feb. 8 while being transported by prison authorities. 

DVB tried to contact Dawei Prison authorities for more details on Win Thiha Aung’s death but there was no response.

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