SINGAPORE: At least one anti-junta protester, a pro-democracy activist, has “died in custody” in Myanmar, according to dissident sources in neighbouring Thailand.
Noting that the death, for which the Myanmar military regime gave “no reason,” was indeed “confirmed,” dissident spokesman Soe Aung told The Hindu over telephone from Bangkok that “no autopsy” was done. According to Mr. Soe Aung, the junta merely informed the family of Win Shwe, an activist belonging to Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), that he died while in detention.
In Washington, the State Department said “the United States is deeply troubled” by the reports of Win Shwe’s custodial death during “interrogation” by the junta officials.
The detenu was arrested on September 26, at the height of the military regime’s crackdown on protesters, and his body was reportedly cremated at the detention centre itself, the State Department noted. Alluding to other reports that “the detainees are being held in deplorable conditions and are subject to abuse,” the State Department urged the junta to “release all political prisoners.”
And until their release, they should be “allowed access by international humanitarian organisations,” the U.S. said. In this context, the junta accused the Western governments and media of meddling in Myanmar’s internal affairs and fomenting the latest unrest in the first place.
The UN Security Council is divded, struggling to reach a consensus on how to address the situation in Myanmar.