Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Youth Trial 7 Months After Incident - Tun Aye Kyaw

Dhaka (Narinjara): 24-year-old Tun Aye Kyaw from the central Arakan town of Min Bya is scheduled to appear before the Min Bya Township court on 4 June for an incident that took place in the town seven months ago.

A relative of the youth confirmed the court date for Narinjara, saying, "He will be put on trial before the court on 4 June. Army official Major Naing Win Aye filed charges at the police station that he disturbed the army official's duty."

In November 2008, an incident occurred in Min Bya in which local youths and army officials clashed after the officials attacked the youth. Several Arakanese youth, including Tun Aye Kyaw, were severely injured. Tun Aye Kyaw was moved to the Sittwe hospital from Min Bya due to the seriousness of his injuries.

According to a local source, the conflict broke out after some inebriated army officials assaulted a bicycling youth in the town on 11 November, 2008. Local elders intervened and stopped the fighting.

However, a group of ten army officials and 20 soldiers, led by Major Naing Win Aye, Deputy Commander of Light Infantry Battalion 379 based on the outskirts of Min Bya, entered the town again at night in army vehicles to attack the local youths.

One witness said the army vehicles sped through the streets of the town with their lights turned off, attacking and beating whoever they happened to find. Many local youths who were out at night were injured in the attack.

The army officials also tried to bring about ten youths to army headquarters in their vehicles for interrogations. At the time, many residents from the town came out into the streets and surrounded the army vehicles to rescue the youths from the officials. The youths were kicked out into the streets in front of the police station.

Among the youths attacked, seven were hospitalized immediately with serious injuries. The hospitalized youth are: Tun Aye Kyaw, son of U Tha Tun Ha; Maung Hla San, son of U Aung Tha Kyaw; Pho Hla Pyi, son of U Nga Mae Daung; Nyi Nyi Aung, son of U Kyaw Wa; U Tun Lin, son of U Tun Aye Maung; Nyi Nyi So, son of U Wa Lon Chay and Aung Thein Win. Tun Aye Kyaw was transferred to the Sittwe hospital after a day.

The parents of Tun Aye Kyaw are government civil servants and his mother, Daw Aye Khin Nyo, is Chief Auditor of the Township.

Tun Aye Kyaw's mother Daw Aye Khin Nyo was displeased with the attack on her son and tried to bring charges at the police station against the eight army officials who led the attack.

The eight army officials she tried to charge are Major Naing Win Aye, Captain Zaya Tun from LIB 379, Lieutenant Aung Pyo Thu from LIB 370, Lieutenant Kyaw Naing Soe from LIB 379, Lieutenant Si Thu Aung from LIB 379, Lieutenant Aung Moe Htut from LIB 379, Lieutenant Kan Min Zaw from LIB 379, and Lieutenant Soe Pai Oo from LIB 541.

Police officers in Min Bya refused to accept the charges because army officials pressured the police chief, who transferred into his work in the police department after serving in the army and is close associate of Major Naing Win Aye.

The day after the incident a team of senior army officials from Western Command based in Ann came to Min Bya to deal with the problem. They invited Tun Aye Kyaw's parents to army headquarters and pressured them not to act against officials on the case.

Tun Aye Kyaw's parents finally withdrew their file for charges against the army officials because they feared losing their government jobs.

When Tun Aye Kyaw arrived back home from his hospital stay in Sittwe, Major Naing Win Aye filed charges against the youth at the police station, claiming he had interfered with his service of duty.

The relative of Tun Aye Kyaw said, "It is Burma and the Burmese army is above the law in our country. The township court summoned Tun Aye Kyaw on 4 June to hear the charges. We do not know what will happen on that day. We can tell you details after Tun Aye Kyaw's case is heard in court on 4 June."

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