Yangon University student dies in detention within a day of his arrest

Family members of Yangon University student Aung Bhone Kyaw were notified by the junta on Monday that he had died in military custody the day after he was arrested. 

The 20-year-old third-year geology student was taken from Yangon’s Tamwe Township on Sunday to an undisclosed location. At noon on Monday, his family was asked by members of the military to come to Yay Way cemetery for his cremation, according to a source who was friends with the victim. 

“The family made it on time but they did not get to see his body as they cremated him right away,” Aung Kaung Set, a member of the Yangon University Students Union, said, adding that they were also barred from taking photos of the funeral. 

Myanmar Now was not able to contact his surviving family members.

Aung Kaung Set speculated that up to seven other students, including Thura Aung, another third-year geology student, were arrested along with Aung Bhone Kyaw, but the information could not be independently verified, nor is the reason for their arrest known. Sources suggested that they were likely held in an interrogation centre. 

Myanmar Now called the military council’s spokespersons to comment on the death of Aung Bhone Kyaw and the arrest of the other students, but all calls went unanswered. 

Student activists believe that Aung Bhone Kyaw died as a result of the junta’s notoriously brutal interrogation practises. Multiple detainees across the country have been killed by the torture perpetrated in the military’s interrogation centres.

A Tuesday statement released by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) said that at least 1,380 people have been killed by the military council since the February 1 coup.

The junta has denounced the AAPP as an illegal organisation, but they have not released any statements declaring their own data on the number of people who died at the hands of the armed forces. 

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