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Burmese man tortured to death in police custody, says family

The Burmese family of a 19-year-old man who died during police interrogation in a murder case was brutally tortured, they said, and they are seeking justice in the case.

Officers at the Mayangone police station allegedly illegally detained the young man and after two days notified his family that he had died in custody due to illness, said the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).

When the family saw the body, they observed that he had been brutally tortured on the legs, face and back, said AHRC in an account of the case posted on its website on Wednesday.

The police have since arrested another person over the murder and have meanwhile denied that they were responsible for the man’s death. The family of the young man is pushing for the case to be brought to court, but so far the police have successfully resisted their efforts, said ACHR.

The ACHR said that on June 28 a 19-year-old flower seller, Ma Poe Poe Mon, was murdered in Mayangone Township, Rangoon. A week later, police from the township station arrested Myo Myint Swe, a carpenter of the same age, at his residence and accused him of being involved.

Subsequently, on July 6, his mother, Sein Sein, and his cousin, Ko Soe Lin, were also taken to the same police station without a court order.

According to testimony from Sein Sein, while being held in custody for three days she was fed only once daily. The cousin, Ko Soe Lin, was interrogated and tortured. Both of them were set free on July 8 and on the same day the district police commander informed Sein Sein that her son had died from illness during interrogation.

The family members took photographs of his body after a post mortem examination and the pictures show signs that he had been severely tortured, said ACHR. It said scars and bruising from the rolling of a rubber or bamboo stick or similar instrument across his legs, a common form of torture in Burma, could be seen clearly.

The other photographs show that the man’s right cheek and forehead are heavily bruised and swollen, as is the left jaw and lower cheek. The neck of the deceased is black with bruising, and scars and bruises are obvious on his shoulders and back, said ACHR.

The doctor who conducted the post mortem on the body recorded on July 23 that the victim had died due to a heart attack.

The ACHR said the victim's family tried to open a case against the commander of the Bayinnaung Police Station and the interrogators for murder, at the East Dagon Police Station on July 27, and at the Bayinnaung Police Station on July 28, but neither station would accept the complaint.

Daw Sein Sein in August sent complaint letters to the director general of the Myanmar Police Force, Ministry of Home Affairs and the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, urging that the case be investigated properly and charges brought against the perpetrators in accordance with the law. At the time of the ACHR article, it said to its knowledge no reply had been received.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 October 2012 13:06 )  

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