31 Oct Rights group to probe death of journalist Ko Par Gyi

Written by Min Hein Htet Published in Myanmar Read 1823 times
Calls continue for justice and an impartial investigation into the death in army custody of Ko Aung Kyaw Naing aka Ko Par Gyi. Photo: Ko Par Gyi/Facebook Calls continue for justice and an impartial investigation into the death in army custody of Ko Aung Kyaw Naing aka Ko Par Gyi. Photo: Ko Par Gyi/Facebook

The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission will investigate the death of freelance reporter Ko Aung Kyaw Naing aka Ko Par Gyi who was killed in army custody, U Sit Myaing, vice chairman of the commission told Mizzima on October 30.

Officials of the Ministry of Defence and the Mon State Government have held a coordination meeting to carry out an investigation into the death of Ko Par Gyi, he said, though no clear timetable for the probe is publicly available at present.

Minister of Information U Ye Htut told Mizzima on October 29 that a group headed by a colonel in the army was formed on October 26 to investigate the case and assess the facts.

Depending on the findings of this investigation, a decision will be made as to whether the police or army will take responsibility for taking action against the perpetrator, he said.

Commission member U Zaw Win told Mizzima that while the army is conducting an investigation into the case, the commission will participate in the investigation under commission law.

Over 40 political activists including members of the 88 Generation group have demanded the formation of an investigation commission to look into the case.

At a press conference in Yangon on October 29, Ma Thandar, wife of late Ko Par Gyi, claimed that she will not criticize the investigations and will wait until the work is completed.

On 23 October, the Ministry of Defence issued a press release claiming Ko Par Gyi was a captain and information officer with the Kalohtoobaw Karen Organization. The release claims he was shot to death by a soldier after trying to escape by taking a soldier’s weapon.

Amnesty International has also called for free and fair investigation into the death of Ko Par Gyi.

Amnesty said in a press release October 30 that failure to adequately – and transparently – investigate such serious allegations and hold perpetrators to account would further entrench impunity in the country, and have a chilling effect on other journalists.

Last modified on Friday, 31 October 2014 16:59