Hlaing Win’s family were not allowed to retrieve his body
A man who left his job as a teacher to join the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) was detained by soldiers in Sagaing Region last week and killed in their custody within days, his wife has said.
Hlaing Win, 40, was taken from Sabei Nanthar village on December 3 and later sent to an interrogation center at the compound of the junta’s Tank Battalion No. 6006 in Kanbalu Township.
Then on Wednesday his wife, Kaythi Oo, was told he had “died due to asphyxia” after she tried to contact his captors through the village administrator.
As well as his wife, he leaves behind a 7-year-old son and two daughters aged 10 and 15. His family said he was in good health when he was taken.
“My whole family was devastated to hear this news. He was the family’s only breadwinner. We don’t have anyone to depend on anymore,” Kaythi Oo said.
Hlaing Win worked as a teacher at a middle school in Baw village, Kanbalu for 15 years. After the February 1 coup, he joined tens of thousands government employees across the country who refused to work under the junta and left his job to work on a betel nut farm.
Upon learning about his death, Kaythi Oo tried to retrieve his body but was told he had already been cremated at the Kanbalu cemetery on Tuesday, the day the military says he died.
“I just wanted to see his body one last time so that I could have some closure,” she said. “I don’t even know how to cope with this now.”
An officer from the CDM group representing educators in Kanbalu said he believed the teacher was tortured to death like scores of others since the coup.
“There is no way we will ever accept this,” he said. “We are opposing them in a peaceful manner and they’re just blatantly killing us. Even after the revolution, we are going to need to take legal actions against them.”
A friend of Hlaing Win’s, who is also a teacher, said his death was a great loss for both his students and the country. “It’s so disgusting that they’re bullying us just because they have weapons. The death of such a good teacher made me feel as if I had lost everything,” he said.
“What I’ve learnt for sure is that we cannot afford to let the military council win in any way. We have to win. We can’t stop until we win,” he added.
Teachers are among those who have borne the brunt of a military terror camaign aimed at crushing opposition to its rule. On November 17, a teacher from Myintha village in Mandalay Region was killed at an interrogation center just hours after his arrest.
Another teacher from Ywarbo village in Mandalay was killed within 24 hours of his arrest on November 1, and his family never got his body back.
A junta spokesperson could not be reached for comment on Win Hlaing’s death.
At least 1,323 civilians have been killed by the junta since February, the latest tally from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners shows.
(Source: Myanmar Now)
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