Woman’s family finds her alive, but detained and badly injured

A 50-year-old Mandalay woman who was shot in the head for hiding protesters nearly three months ago is alive but in need of medical attention, according to her family.

Daw Pyone, a resident of Seinban ward in Mandalay’s Maha Aungmyay Township, disappeared on March 13 after sustaining serious injuries at the hands of soldiers who were pursuing the protesters.

Her family spent the next two and a half months trying to locate her, inquiring about her at the military command inside Mandalay Palace, military hospitals, and Mandalay’s Obo Prison, but to no avail.

Then, in late May, a police official called the family to inform them that Daw Pyone had been transferred from the Pyin Oo Lwin Military Hospital to Mandalay’s Obo Prison.

“From the beginning, I never believed that she was dead,” her daughter, Tin Nilar San, told Myanmar Now.

The family has since learned through a pro bono lawyer who is representing Daw Pyone that she has been charged with incitement under Section 505a of the Penal Code.

More worrying, however, is the fact that she was discharged from the hospital before she could fully recover from her injuries.

“At her last hearing, my mother told her lawyer that her wounds have not healed. Her lawyer said that her arm and leg are now almost paralyzed. I also heard she was not allowed to receive medical treatment at Obo Prison,” said Tin Nilar San.

Although the family has been denied permission to meet with Daw Pyone, they have been able to bring her food and other items on two occasions, according to her daughter.

“I would like to ask the authorities to allow my mother to receive medical treatment until her wounds are healed,” she said.

Daw Pyone’s ordeal began after she allowed a group of more than 20 protesters fleeing a violent crackdown by a joint force of police and soldiers to hide in her home on March 13.

Witnesses said she was shot in the head by soldiers as they stormed her house in pursuit of the protesters.

Neighbours carried her to an ambulance, but it was later commandeered by soldiers, according to rescue workers, who confirmed that regime forces killed at least 10 people and injured another 20 in Seinban ward that day.

All but five of the protesters who hid in Daw Pyone’s house were arrested. One who escaped by hiding under a bed said that he felt guilty about her situation.

“It happened to her because we hid at her house. I feel guilty. She protected us,” he said on condition of anonymity.

He also dismissed speculation that the soldiers shot Daw Pyone because she used a slingshot to attack them. 

“She just asked them not to arrest us,” he said. 

The military’s spokesperson and regime authorities in Mandalay could not be reached for comment on Daw Pyone’s situation.

The next hearing in her case is scheduled for June 24.


Related Articles

Back to top button