Friday, November 07, 2014

Burma: Exhumation reveals that Burmese journalist's body had extensive injuries

6 November 2014
Mizzima News

This article was originally published on on 6 November 2014.

Witnesses to the exhumation of the body of journalist Ko Aung Kyaw Naing claim they saw many injuries to his head, ribs, groin and leg, though the cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

Ko Aung Kyaw Naing (aka Ko Par Gyi) died in army custody on October 4, 2014 with an official army report claiming he was shot dead after trying to snatch a gun from a soldier.

The body was dug up 800 meters from Shwe Wah Chaung Village in Kyaikmaraw Township of Mon State on November 5 in front of witnesses with the aim to ascertain the cause of death.

Lawyer U Robert Sann Aung, who saw the excavated body, told Mizzima that although the army claimed Ko Par Gyi died as a result of a bullet wound, the excavated body was seen with heavy injuries to the head, broken ribs and jaw, an appearance of a broken leg, and black and blue bruises in the groin region.

"Examining these injuries will provide the best evidence" as to the cause of death, he said.

U Nay Myo Zin, a member of a social development network, said the body had not deteriorated and was only in a swollen condition.

The work to unearth the body began at 12 noon and it was completed by 2 pm under the watch of an Army squad and witnesses including U Sit Myaing, vice chairman of Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, Police Colonel Thaung Win of Nay Pyi Taw, Daw Thandar, widow of Ko Par Gyi, members of the Mon National Party, and a criminal case surgeon.

The body was sent to Mawlamyine General Hospital for medical examination at 5:30 pm on November 5, said U Robert Sann Aung.

U Sit Myaing said he would ask the examining criminal surgeon for his remarks about the case and check the medical examination of the dead body.

Daw Thandar earlier told the media on October 24 that she hoped a criminal surgeon would provide remarks and findings in a fair and correct manner.