Imprisoned PDF leader dies in Taunggyi following interrogation

September 7th, 2022  •  Author:   U Aung Zaw Oo (aka) Mohammed Hpwar Ruu (Patron of the SSPDF/UG)  •  3 minute read
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Aung Zaw Oo, left, in 2014 (Sithu Maung)

A member of the Southern Shan PDF said that the group’s leader had been hospitalised with multiple injuries

By Myanmar Now

Aung Zaw Oo, the imprisoned leader of a People’s Defence Force (PDF) group based in southern Shan State, died on Tuesday of injuries inflicted on him during interrogation, according to a member of his group.

The 43-year-old resistance leader, who had been detained at the state’s Taung Lay Lone Prison for more than a year, was receiving treatment at the Sao San Tun Hospital in Taunggyi at the time of his death, the PDF member said.

He had reportedly been admitted to the hospital a week ago with broken ribs and other injuries.

Aung Zaw Oo—also known as Mohammed Hpwar Ruu—was arrested in August of last year and charged under Myanmar’s Anti-Terrorism Law for his role in leading the Southern Shan PDF. He was sentenced to seven years in prison in May.

Aung Zaw Oo’s body at his funeral (Sithu Maung)

He was accused of forming and funding the group and another PDF based in Taunggyi in collaboration with Myanmar’s elected National Unity Government, which the country’s military regime has designated a terrorist organisation.

Sithu Maung, an elected parliamentarian and former student leader who was also a friend of the victim, noted that the only “weapon” found on Aung Zaw Oo at the time of his arrest was a walkie-talkie.

“I kept in touch with him during the revolution and I was providing him with help. He was a very charitable person. He was also running a charity group together with a youth network,” said Sithu Maung.

Like Sithu Maung, Aung Zaw Oo had also been involved in anti-junta activities during a wave of protests in 2007. He was later arrested and served fours years of a six-year prison sentence in Lashio, until his release in 2012.

Aung Zaw Oo was buried on Tuesday in accordance with Islamic tradition, according to Sithu Maung.

Last month, the military also arrested two other southern Shan State resistance leaders.

Myat Min, of the Taunggyi PDF, and Kyaw Khant, of the Ywangan Urban Guerrilla Force, were captured during an overnight check at a monastery in Nyaungshwe Township on August 15.

Two days earlier, Ko Lin, the leader of Mandalay’s Kyaukse District PDF, was killed in Ywangan Township along with another member of his group and an unidentified individual.

Burmese version.

Original Post: Myanmar Now