Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Biased Local Authorities Bully Ordinary Citizens

8 January 2008
Original report by Naw Say Paw, DVB

Ko Win Ko, an ordinary citizen from Taung Talote Village, East Dagon New Town, Rangoon, who was beaten and punched unjustly by Chairman of the local PDC (the so-called Peace and Development Council)is now being held in Insein Prison, facing criminal charges,it is reported.

It all started as Ko Win Ko went to see the farmer Ko Aye Min Soe, who owed K 40,000.00 of farm labour fees to his brother Ko Myint Tun on 31 December. The two men went on to argue about the fees before Ko Win Ko was being punched by U Aye Myint, PDC chairman, who happened to be Ko Aye Min Soe's brother. Daw Aye Sein, chairman's wife also slapped Ko Win Ko's face, according to a family member.

Later, U Aye Myint reported the event to the local police office and on the night of 1 January, Ko Win Ko and his father U Chit Khine were arrested by a team of police officials, led by Deputy Sergeant Thet Zaw Oo.

On the same night the police force also went to the house of Ko Hla Ko, brother of Ko Win Ko, to arrest him as well. When the police couldn't find Ko Hla Ko in the house, one of them went to the bedroom to beat Ma Thida, wife of Ko Hla Ko, who was in bed , with a truncheon. It was understood that Ma Thida was ill at the time. The arrest and search were all conducted by the police force, in the absence of the local authorities (PDC) and also without a warrant, it was reported.

Ko Win Ko and U Chit Khine were sent to Insein prison on 3 January and are due to appear before East Dagon New Town magistrate court on 11 January.

When the town's PDC office and police office were contacted , both refused to answer any question, concerning the case.

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