A team led by Police Brig-Gen Khin Maung Win from the Myanmar Police Force Headquarters in Nay Pyi Taw has begun investigating the head of the Sagaing Region Police Force and other officials in light of the death of Khin Win from Moegyo Pyin Village, who was shot during the conflict between police and local protesters at the Letpadaungtaung Copper Mine on December 22, 2014
Soe Moe Tun
Myanmar Eleven January 29, 2015 1:00 am
MONYWA – A team led by Police Brig-Gen Khin Maung Win from the Myanmar Police Force Headquarters in Nay Pyi Taw has begun investigating the head of the Sagaing Region Police Force and other officials in light of the death of Khin Win from Moegyo Pyin Village, who was shot during the conflict between police and local protesters at the Letpadaungtaung Copper Mine on December 22, 2014.
“Two police colonels, including Police Brig-Gen Khin Maung Win, are now conducting an investigation at the Myoma Police Station in Monywa Township in Sagaing Region. The investigation team arrived at the station on January 25. The inquiry began the next day. The [team] won’t only investigate the head of the Sagaing Region Police Force. They will also investigate the officials who were on duty during the conflict. I think the investigation period will take about one week,” said a police officer from the Monywa District Police Force.
“We haven’t heard anything about the current investigations. In recent days, we went to the Salingyi Township Court to file a lawsuit over Khin Win’s death. However, the court dismissed our lawsuit. We will appeal to the higher courts and the parliament in cooperation with the Lawyers’ Network if the township or district courts do not accept the case,” said Khin Win’s nephew.
The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission released a statement on January 14 saying the clashes occurred as the local people found themselves confronted by a line of police. People on both sides were injured due to the police squad’s poor management of the situation. The police did not use water cannons or tear gas to disperse the crowd, which would have been in line with conventional riot control techniques.
The commission has urged law enforcement bodies to take action against the police officers who did not follow protocol.
Khin Win’s death has sparked a series of protests, including several in front of the Chinese Embassy in Yangon.
Last week, activists who led a protest in front of the Chinese embassy in Yangon on December 29 were refused bail.
Nay Myo Zin, Naw Ohn Hla, Sein Htwe, Tin Htut Paing, Lay Lay, Than Swe and Mya Nu were arrested on December 30 and charged under six sections of the Penal Code of Myanmar.
Lawyers representing the activists said that the court should rethink the lawsuit as the detention of activists without the court’s arrest warrants amounts to violating human rights.
The state prosecutors objected to it as the accused would have no rights to get bail under section 505 (b).
“The authority has filed a lawsuit against them with section 505 (b) as they don’t want to grant bail. The police needs to seek arrest warrants from the court to arrest them in accordance with section 505 (b). But now they are being charged under different sections,” said lawyer Robert San Aung.
“We will start a strike in the jail if the authorities refuse to grant bail. We will rebel against the current rule of law. We strongly believe that the government is trying to use the dishonest ways to kill us in jail in place of peaceful methods,” said Nay Myo Zin.
The government usually takes a tough line on Letpadaungtaung protests staged at the Chinese embassy.
On December 10, 2013, Naw Ohn Hla, Tin Htut Paing, Aung Soe and Sithu were prosecuted for setting fire to the Chinese flag.