Members of the Insein Criminal Investigation Department (CID) have been threatening relatives of Ko Zin Aung, a local rickshaw driver tortured to death in July this year (AHRC-UAC-110-2014).
Members of the Insein Criminal Investigation Department (CID) have been threatening relatives of Ko Zin Aung, a local rickshaw driver tortured to death in July this year (AHRC-UAC-110-2014). Ko Moss and Ma Aye Aye Nwe, the brother-in-law and the cousin of the victim respectively, were called, 11th August 2014 to Myo Thit Quarter Administrative Office, where the police accused them of disturbing the peace and threatened to arrest them.
Ko Zin Aung died on 7th July 2014 because of injuries suffered from torture at the hands of local police. Ko Moss and Ma Aye Aye Nwe have been fighting to get justice from the deceased. This includes sending complaint letters to various law enforcement officials, as well as circulating photos of the victim. The two have also tried to involve local human rights advocates.
The CID responded by demanding to meet with the two relatives of the victim, and, in the meeting, demanded to know who authored the complaint letter and who took the photos of the victim’s body. The CID officers threatened to arrest Ko Moss and Ma Aye Aye Nwe if they did not immediately provide the information. After they provided the information, the CID officers demanded to meet with the photographer as well.
These actions appear similar to the earlier police investigation process. When taking witness statements, the police distorted the words of witnesses to attack the reputation of Ko Zin Aung. When the witnesses objected, the police refused make amendments and forced the witnesses to sign the distorted statements.
Ko Moss and Ma Aye Aye Nwe have said that they fear the police. They believe that the law enforcement officials have been trying to intimidate them into dropping the case.
The AHRC has condemned the torture and death of Ko Zin Aung and sent an Urgent Appeal to the government, asking it to investigate the case as a violation of human rights.
The government of Burma has a duty to ensure that the police and the CID investigate the death of Ko Zin Aung appropriately, and do so without threatening or suppressing the relatives of the victim that are seeking justice.