Myanmar military soldiers accused of brutally beating Rakhine fisherman during interrogation

A fisherman from Ann township in Rakhine state has been hospitalised after Myanmar military soldiers badly beat him while interrogating him for suspected involvement with the Arakan Army (AA), a relative has said. 

Kyaw Nu Maung, 47, from Tat Taung Tite district in Ann, was working at a shrimp farm near Chit Pone Ma village when a military unit arrived and took him away on Saturday evening.

He was released the following afternoon but had to be taken straight to Tat Taung Tite Hospital, Khin Hnin Way, his daughter, told Myanmar Now. Before the interrogation soldiers tied Kyaw Nu Maung’s hands behind his back, she added.

“Then they kicked him and beat him with their guns. They put a bag over his head and punched him,” she said. “They only removed the bag when he couldn’t breathe. Then they asked him if he was from the AA and what his rank in the AA was. Every time my father said no, they beat him.”

After the interrogation, soldiers ordered someone living nearby to untie Kyaw Nu Maung, and he collapsed upon being freed. Local villagers took him to hospital. 

“Right now he can’t even sleep on his back,” Khin Hnin Wai said. “When he does sleep, he can’t breathe and his chest tightens. He can’t get up on his own. His lower back and thighs are hurting because they stepped on him. He can’t sit up straight on his own. Someone has to be there to help him for him to sleep.”

“I don’t even know what to say about this. There are things I want to say but I don’t know where to start,” she added.

The military unit has been camped near Chit Pone Ma village in Ann for about three days despite there being no clashes in the area.

Myanmar Now reached out to brigadier general Zaw Min Tun from the Military True News and Information Team and Rakhine state border affairs minister Colonel Min Than regarding the incident but received no answer.

Over 200,000 people have been displaced and hundreds killed since clashes between the military and the AA resumed in late 2018.

The AA on November 12 called on the military to halt its attacks and cooperate with the government to hold by-elections in areas of Rakhine where voting was cancelled during this month’s election. 

The group said it would cooperate with the government and other organisations to create a stable environment for polling booths to open.

The military responded that it welcomed the statement and would start discussions to hold by-elections.

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