05/10/2021, 14.41
MYANMAR
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Anti-coup poet dies after arrest and probable torture

by Francis Khoo Thwe

His wife found his lifeless body in hospital with extensive bruises and organs removed. A doctor also died during a military raid in Thanlyin as did a pro-democracy protester in Myinmu. The wave of arrests continues. Military junta designated the government-in-exile a terrorist organisation.

Yangon (AsiaNews) – Ko Zaw Tun, a poet using the pen name “Khet Thi”, was tortured to death in police custody, this according to family members after they saw his bruised body, which had organs removed.

Khet Thi was arrested at his home in Shwebo along with his wife who was later released. He was an active opponent of last February's coup d'état, when the military removed from office the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

A line from one of Khet Thi’ poems – They shot [protesters] in the heads / They don’t know revolution lies in the heart – is popular among members of the pro-democracy movement.

Meanwhile, the repression goes on. A doctor died yesterday after falling from a flat in a housing complex in Thanlyin township while the military was searching the complex, where anti-regime protests had broken out the previous night. The authorities arrested 16 people, including two women and two children.

Junta forces also killed one protester in Myinmu yesterday afternoon, injuring four more. The protesters were demanding the release of two activists arrested in the morning.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, the military under General Min Aung Hlaing have killed about 780 people since the outbreak of anti-coup protests.

On Saturday, the junta designated the Government of National Unity (NUG) as a terrorist group, allegedly for bomb attacks, arson and killings.

The NUG was set up on 16 April and is composed of members of the National League for Democracy (Suu Kyi's party) and representatives of ethnic groups.

It seeks to undermine the military dictatorship and adopt a new, democratic federal constitution that would maintain national unity while devolving powers and resources to the country’s ethnic groups.

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