Update by the Shan Human Rights Foundation
April 5, 2022
Villager beaten to death by SAC troops after explosion in Kyaukme town
On March 29, 2022, after a bomb explosion in Kyaukme town, SAC troops stopped two villagers riding a motorcycle and beat them so severely that one of them died of his injuries.
The explosion, caused by a hand-made bomb, occurred at the Kyaukme municipal office at about 4 pm. The roof of the municipal office was slightly damaged by the blast.
At that time, the two men, Sai Bee, age 43, and his nephew Sai Aung Kyaw Oo, age 28, were riding a motorcycle to buy some food in Quarter 9 after buying a smart phone in Quarter 6 of Kyaukme town. After buying food, they were on their way back to Nawng Bing village, when they were stopped by over 20 SAC troops at a traffic light in Quarter 6. Sai Aung Kyaw Oo was driving the motorcycle, and Sai Bee was sitting behind him.
The troops interrogated the men about the bomb blast, beating and pushing them to the ground. They kicked them multiple times in the head and chest until both of them fell unconscious. The troops then put them into an army car, and took Sai Aung Kyaw Oo to the Kyaukme police station and took Sai Bee to the Kyaukme hospital. A soldier drove their motorcycle to the police station.
After about an hour, the troops phoned the police to inform them that Sai Bee had been certified dead by the hospital. The police then released Sai Aung Kyaw Oo, returned his motorbike key, and told him he could go to the hospital.
Sai Aung Kyaw Oo did not go to see his uncle’s body that evening, but phoned his relatives to come from Pong Wo village to collect the dead body from the hospital.
On March 30, 2022, at about 1 pm, his relatives from Pong Wo came to the hospital. They had to pay 50,000 kyat for the autopsy, and then took the dead body to be buried at the Kyaukme cemetery at about 2 pm.
The cost of the funeral was over 500,000 kyat, but the military did not provide any compensation for his family or for the funeral ceremony. Sai Bee was a widower who stayed with his elder sister. He had five sisters in his family, and was the youngest brother. He worked at a car workshop in Kyaukme.
Sai Aung Kyaw Oo told his family what had happened to them: “We were riding a motorcycle from the phone shop, where we had bought a smart phone. While we were riding past the municipal office, we heard the sound of an explosion, but we just kept driving. We rode our motorbike to go and buy some food at a place nearby. When we came back, we met a group of SAC soldiers on the road. They stopped us, and then beat and kicked us.”
When Sai Aung Kyaw Oo was arrested, the troops took about 45,000 kyat and his ID card from his wallet. About 700,000 kyat was taken from Sai Bee, who had come to Kyaukme to make a new ID card. He was staying in Nawng Bing village and had called his nephew to bring him some household documents for the ID application. Sai Aung Kyaw Oo had left Pong Wo on the morning of March 29 to come to Kyaukme.
On March 30, 2022, after the burial of Sai Bee, the Nam Khong charity group went to the police station to ask for Sai Aung Kyaw Oo’s ID card and the confiscated money. The police replied that they had not seen any money. They said that the only item handed over by the soldiers at the police station was Sai Aung Kyaw Oo’s motorbike.
Sai Aung Kyaw Oo is still suffering physically and mentally from being beaten by the SAC troops.
The previous month, on February 3, a 44-year-old displaced farmer called Sai Tun Win was similarly beaten and kicked to death in Kyaukme town by SAC military intelligence officers, who falsely accused him of being a drug dealer and a PDF member. His family have received no compensation until now, even though the SAC authorities admitted his arrest was a “mistake”.
Sai Hor Hseng +66: 94-728-6696 (Shan, English)
Sai San Loi +66: 88 680 4913 (Shan, Burmese)