Soldiers pushed him from the third storey of a building, then he was beaten in custody 

As bullets flew around them last Saturday, a group of three anti-coup protesters in the industrial township of Dagon Seikkan in eastern Yangon ducked inside a residential building for cover. 

They made their way to the third floor of a building in the Yuzana Housing complex, where a family hid them inside their apartment. When a tear gas canister landed inside the building, one of the residents hiding the protesters went downstairs to douse it with water.  

He was spotted by soldiers, who followed him up to the apartment and broke the door down. 

The protesters tried to flee by climbing out of a window and onto a metal awning fixed above a second floor window, but the soldiers pursued them and pushed them. As they did so, the structure came loose and broke off the wall, and the protesters fell with it to hit the ground below. 

“They told them not to run and then pushed them off. They were going to jump, but before they could they fell with the awning,” said a family member of Kyaw Moe Khaing, one of the protesters. Video footage later showed two soldiers dragging Kyaw Moe Khaing away

“When he couldn’t get up, two soldiers beat him and kicked him. Then they dragged him by his hands. They took everything he had; his watch, his wallet, and his citizenship card,” said the family member, who is the husband of Kyaw Moe Khaing’s cousin. 

The 39-year-old private tutor died four days later, on Wednesday morning. He had a blood clot in his heart caused by internal bleeding as well as kidney damage.

Kyaw Moe Khaing was taken to the Dagon Seikkan Police Station along with the two other protesters, who remained conscious after the fall. When he came to, he was denied medical treatment and beaten repeatedly, family members said.

X-rays showed that his pelvis and leg bones were cracked. It is unclear if those injuries were from when he fell from the awning or during the beatings.  

Myanmar Now was unable to establish the identities or whereabouts of the other two people who were detained.

After the video of Kyaw Moe Khaing being dragged away went viral on social media, his cousin and mother went to the police station to ask after him. “We were told that he had been sent to Insein Prison,” the cousin said. “So we didn’t know where else to enquire and just waited for someone to contact us.”

“We’re so furious about the beatings. They’re doing this to everyone,” she added. “I hate them.” 

On Sunday he was sent to the Mingaladon Military Hospital. (That same day, Myanmar Now added his name to a list of people who had died, based on an interview with an eyewitness from Dagon Seikkan. We sincerely regret any harm caused by this error.) 

Police informed his family he was at the military hospital on Monday and they went to visit him. “He was given oxygen,” the cousin’s husband said, speaking on Wednesday. “He was given blood and became conscious for a while. He can no longer fight for his life today. He died from exhaustion.” 

Kyaw Moe Khaing was cremated on Friday afternoon.

At least 550 people have been killed by the regime in the two months since the coup, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said on Friday. At least 43 of those killed were children. 

Another 2,751 have been detained. Relatives of many of the detainees do not know their whereabouts. 

Related Articles

Back to top button