Junta sentences 16 Yangon residents to death over murder of alleged informant 

The regime sentenced 16 people to death last week after accusing them of the murders of an alleged informant and his two sons in Yangon’s North Okkalapa Township. 

Sein Moe and his sons–24-year-old Aung Moe Hein and 19-year-old Htin Khant Moe Hein–were found dead on March 15 with stab wounds at their home in the township’s Shwepauk Kan Myothit neighbourhood, military-run media said. 

After the murders, regime authorities arrested eight people from the township–six men and two women–and issued arrest warrants for nine other men.

Seven of those arrested received the death sentence following a two and a half month trial by military tribunal, military newspapers reported Saturday. They are Wai Yan Win Myint, Lapyae Wun, Soe Moe Paing, Yan Naing Soe, Kyaw Kyaw Naing, Zin Mar Tun, and Hla Hla Naing. 

One man named San Oo received a seven-year prison sentence for destroying evidence, while the remaining nine suspects were given the death penalty in absentia, the report said.

A relative of one of the people convicted said all 16 were innocent: “They’re just convicting them because they can’t catch the actual assailants.”

A North Okkalapa resident who lives in the same ward as the murdered family said Sein Moe had a fight with people in the neighbourhood weeks before his murder.

“About three weeks after the fight, some strangers came to the neighbourhood in a Hijet and observed Sein Moe’s house from outside,” he said. “Two days later they came back with the same vehicle and stabbed him and his sons. After the attack, the group packed their swords back in the car and left.”

Myanmar Now was unable to confirm the resident’s account of the killings. 

Sein Moe’s wife could not be reached for comment regarding the murders and the allegation that her husband was an informant. 

Those convicted have 15 days to appeal the decision and family members have said they will do so. 

Sixty-four people have now been sentenced to death since the military seized power in a February 1 coup, according to figures from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. Of those, 40 were convicted in absentia, the group said.   

The majority of the convictions–36–were handed down to residents of North Okkalapa, one of six Yangon townships under martial law. The others are Hlaing Tharyar, Shwe Pyithar, North Dagon, South Dagon and Dagon Seikkan.

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