Captured ABFSU activist reported dead in Sagaing

December 6th, 2021  •  Author:   Ko Hnin Aung (aka) Comrade Aung Ba Nyo (Kanbalu Township)  •  3 minute read
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Hnin Aung (Supplied)

Student activist Hnin Aung was also reportedly robbed of 10m kyat in cash that he was carrying at the time of his arrest

By Myanmar Now

An activist with the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU) was killed last week after being taken into custody by regime forces, according to fellow members of the group.

Hnin Aung, 26, was apprehended at a checkpoint near Tin Ngoke Gyi, a village in Sagaing Region’s Kanbalu Township, last Friday and had been tortured to death by the next day, an ABFSU source told Myanmar Now.

“He was travelling when he ran into some soldiers and Pyu Saw Htee members doing security checks,” the source said, referring to a pro-junta militia that has been accused of carrying out attacks on groups opposed to the regime.

Hnin Aung was reportedly carrying 10m kyat ($5,600) in cash on him at the time of his capture.

“The Pyu Saw Htee killed him and took that money. He didn’t even try to run,” added the ABFSU source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The regime later reported on social media that Hnin Aung had been shot and arrested while attacking the checkpoint—a claim denied by ABFSU members familiar with the situation.

“Hnin Aung always took great care of his and his organization’s security,” said former ABFSU leader Kyaw Ko Ko, who called the junta’s allegation “a lie”.

Myanmar Now was unable to confirm reports that Hnin Aung had been tortured. However, it has learned that his family has so far been denied permission to claim his body.

Prior to joining the ABFSU, Hnin Aung was a labour rights activist. In May 2016, he was arrested while marching from Sagaing to Naypyitaw as part of a workers’ strike and sentenced to one year in prison.

Following his release, he joined the ABFSU as a central executive committee member. Until 2019, he was the group’s officer in charge of ethnic affairs.

Fellow activist Kyaw Thee, who knew Hnin Aung during his early days as a labour rights leader in Mandalay, said he was saddened by the loss of his former colleague.

“He actively advocated for the affairs of workers, farmers and students. I will always remember him,” he said.

On Saturday, the ABFSU released a statement saying that it was proud of “Comrade” Hnin Aung, who it said had died as a martyr in the fight against Myanmar’s military dictatorship.

A number of affiliated groups also expressed their condolences.

Myanmar Now attempted to contact the Kanbalu police station and regime spokespeople for comment on Hnin Aung’s death, but its calls were not returned.

Burmese version.

Original Post: Myanmar Now