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Urgent Statement: Extrajudicial Murders of Political Prisoners

July 10th, 2023  •  Author:   Assistance Association for Political Prisoners  •  4 minute read
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July 10, 2023

On June 27, under the pretense of transferring them, the military removed political prisoners from Daik-U (Kyaiksakaw) Prison. 37 political prisoners have since gone missing. However, when concerned families of the political prisoners inquired at Daik-U Prison, the prison authorities repeatedly denied the whereabouts of these prisoners.

On July 7, 2023, the Staff Officer of Daik-U Prison, Kyaw Zeya (A-3702) sent a signed letter to the family of Khant Linn Naing (aka Ko Khant, aka Let Wel), Prison Registration No. PaKha/22/00436, the son of Than Soe Naing, to inform them of his death.

On July 8, Kyaw Zeya sent another signed letter to the family of Pyae Phyo Hein (aka Ko Pyae), Prison Registration No. DaU/22/00176, the son of Kyaw Oo, to inform them of his death.

The letters stated that while transferring prisoners from Daik-U Prison to Insein Prison, a transport vehicle suffered an accident. Seizing the opportunity, the two of them (Khant Linn Naing and Kyaw Zeya) were alleged to have attempted escape. As a result, they were killed by the security forces who fired “warning shots” at them in an attempt to recapture.

Despite the letters being dated as “June 29”, they arrived to the 2 families on only July 7 and July 8 respectively.  However, in envelope provided to the wife of Pyae Phyo Hein, the letter inside the envelope was in fact addressed to Khin Moe Moe, the wife of the still missing Aung Myo Thu. According to this, there are clear grounds to believe the life of Aung Myo Thu is in danger.

Prison transfers are but one of the excuses used, and according to events in recent months there are consistent reports of people being removed from prisons, being interrogated, and killed.

On July 2, the family of political prisoner Sein Win was informed about his passing in Myingyan Prison that same day from gastrointestinal tract bleeding. However, prisoners inside the prison revealed that Sein Win had been removed from prison and interrogated. His family members also stated that bruises were found on his body from the time of his death.

On June 7, Pyu Saw Htee militiamen went to the house of political prisoner Kaung Zarni Hein’s (aka La Pyae) mother and sister, and murdered them. Thereafter, on July 6, the junta forces killed political prisoners Kaung Zarni Hein and Kyaw Thura, according to reports from within the junta’s community.

  1. It is clear, these brazen murders of political prisoners in prisons violates not only domestic laws, but also international laws. Such killings mirror the unlawful and sadistic murders of the Jewish community by the fascist Nazi Germany during the World War II. Moreover, political prisoners removed from Daik-U Prison remain missing without a trace. It is currently unknown whether they are dead or alive. These actions overstep the procedures of prison, along with committing the heinous crime of unjust torture and illegal killings. This is also a blatant violation of the ASEAN Human Rights Convention.
  2. In Burma, the rule of law has been rendered void since the military junta coup by the supporting pillars of junta rule: the judges; soldiers; police; prison staff, who have intentionally perpetrated wrongful arrests, unlawful sentencings, illegal killings, torture and persecution of political prisoners in prisons, at the command of the junta.
  3. We, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, strongly condemn such unlawful killings and torture, we will do our best to ensure justice for all political prisoners who have been wrongfully imprisoned.
  4. All perpetrating parties must be held accountable for these acts.
  5. In addition to the above-mentioned crimes, the human rights violations, unlawful killings, and arbitrary torture that Burma experiences day after day are violations of international human rights law. These violations cannot be dealt with within the country’s judiciary at this time. Therefore, we strongly urge the international community to make a collective effort to take action through international judicial mechanisms.

Since the unjust seizure of state power by the terrorist junta led by Min Aung Hlaing on February 1, 2021, there have been at least a total 3,757 people killed. 150 of them lost their lives in prison due to poor healthcare and ill-treatment, or tortured to death during interrogation. The numbers shown here were based on the data AAPP collected, the real number of fatalities could be higher.

Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP)

Contact – [email protected]

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