Witness to police torture case beaten and threatened by police in Paung Township

June 15, 2018

HURFOM: On May 21st 2018, Police Sergeant Thein Hline Oo and Police Private Shine Htet Aung, from Yin Nyein Police Station, tortured two villagers from Kyauk Ye Twin village, Paung Township, Mon State. Police Sergeant Thein Hline Oo has been charged under three sections of the Penal Code. On June 10th at around 4pm, Sergeant Thein Hline Oo was found back in the same village beating another villager, as he was reportedly angry with having been charged for the first beating.

The victim of the second beating, U Aung Kyi, is the uncle of U Maung Kyi, the man who was beaten on May 21st.

While I was drunk and sleeping in my cousin’s house, Police Sergeant Thein Hline Oo came into the house and woke me up. He asked me if I was U Maung Kyi or U Aung Kyi. I said I was U Aung Kyi. Out of nowhere, he punched me twice on the nose, and my nose and lip started bleeding,” said one of the victims, U Aung Kyi.

A witness to the event, Daw Zar Htay, explained that, “I didn’t see the police sergeant come into the house. When I heard voices, I saw that U Aung Kyi was sleeping there. The police started asking about the owner of the house. U Aung Kyi got up and said that the house owner wasn’t home, and then went back to sleep. The police said, ‘who do you think I am? I’m the police.’ And then the policeman said to U Aung Kyi, ‘are you a man or a woman? If you’re a woman you should wear a female longyi.’ And then he hit U Aung Kyi.” Daw Zar Htay added that, after the police sergeant beat U Aung Kyi, he also swore at U Sein Aung, the chairman of Kyauk Ye Twin branch of the National League for Democracy (NLD), who has been helping U Maung Gyi with the case.

According to the victim’s neighbor, Daw Mar Aye, , it isn’t possible that the policeman beat up the wrong person, as U Maung Kyi and U Aung Kyi’s body structures are very different. The villagers think the policeman beat U Maung Kyi because he is a relative of the victim. Moreover, Daw Mar Aye saw the police sergeant in Kyauk Ye Twin village two days before he beat U Aung Kyi. “The police also came round and looked at my house after the first beating. I locked the house and he didn’t see me. Then he went to U Khin Win’s house and threatened them, saying he would kill Maung Kyi, Khin Win and ‘those ladies’ before he was sent to prison.”

Police Sergeant Thein Hline Oo has reportedly visited Kyauk Ye Twin village frequently and has been threatening witnesses who will give evidence in the U Maung Kyi case. 

Right now I don’t dare to sleep in my own house. I take my child and we sleep at friends’ houses. I feel safe during the day time, but at night, especially when the rain is loud, I don’t dare to sleep at home. I am worried that the police will come and do something to me. I’m afraid of him and I don’t feel safe,” said witness, Daw Mar Aye.

Two days after the incident, on June 12th at around 5pm, the Chief of the Yin Nyein Police Station came to U Aung Kyi’s house. He said he had nothing to say regarding the case, and if U Aung Kyi wanted to file a lawsuit against Police Sergeant Thein Hline Oo for torturing him, he just had to come to Paung Police Station.

U Sein Aung, the chairman of Kyauk Ye Twin NLD branch, explained that, “I asked the Chief of the Police Station about the detaining of the police sergeant. The Chief told me that they had detained the sergeant in Paung police station. Then he told me that he did not know about the current incident as the perpetrator was detained in Paung, not Yin Nyein, police station. If the perpetrator, police sergeant Thein Hline Oo, was detained under house arrest by Paung police station, he could not have gone to Kyauk Ye Twin village and tortured the villager again. There is no rule of law; nobody has taken action on this case”, said U Sein Aung.

U Maung Gyi filed a lawsuit at Paung police station against Police Sergeant Thein Hline Oo and Police Private Shine Htet Aung for torturing him on May 21st. The chief from Paung police station, U Tun Kyaw Oo, said, “The police sergeant will be charged under police law. We don’t know for sure yet about the new case of torturing the villager. A tribunal has been formed to charge him for the previous incident of torturing a villager on May 21st.”

Regarding this most recent case, U Aung Kyi filed a lawsuit at Paung Police Station against Police Sergeant Thein Hline Oo for torturing him on June 13th.

 

 

 

 

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