A report into the death of journalist Ko Par Gyi (also Ko Aung Kyaw Naing) by state-level Myanmar National Human Rights Commission recommended the case is heard by a civilian court. The report sent to the President U Thein Sein’s office said that Section 347 of the 2008 Constitution, which states “the Union shall guarantee any person to enjoy equal rights before the law and shall equally provide legal protection”, requires more action taken to determine the circumstances of his recent death.
Ko Par Gyi’s body was found riddled with bullet wounds after he disappeared after returning from clashes between the Tatmadaw (Burma military) and Karen fighters. The military announced nearly a month later they shot him when he tried to escape.
According to the forensic reports, U Sit Myaing, vice chairman of the commission, said Ko Par Gyi was found with gun shots to the head, chest, thighs and heels.
The military claims he suffered no mental or physical torture while being detained. The commission’s report claims Ko Par Gyi was tied by the arms and legs while in military custody, but could freely enjoy the right to basic needs. But Ma Thandar, Ko Par Gyi's widow, disagrees. “I saw some differences between the military soldier’s statements and the commission’s report. I do not believe there was ‘no torture’ at all and the report does not expose who was committed the act [of killing].”
At a recent press conference in Yangon, Ma Thandar quoted a police corporal claiming to have witnessed extensive injuries on Ko Par Gyi’s body when a case was opened in the Kyaikmaraw Police Station in Mon State.
Photo caption: An undated photo of Ko Aung Kyaw Naing (also Ko Par Gyi).