Rare move sees Myanmar police held for suspect's death

Force long-criticized for corruption, unlawful practice, use of excessive force

Rare move sees Myanmar police held for suspect's death

World Bulletin / News Desk

Ten police officers have been arrested and are facing murder charges after a man died during interrogation at a police station in Myanmar, according to authorities Tuesday.

Such arrests are rare in a country, where the force -- run by the military-controlled Ministry of Home Affairs -- has long been criticized for corruption, unlawful practices in dealing with communities, and its use of excessive force to crack down on demonstrations.

On Dec. 25, the 30-year-old -- arrested on suspicion of stealing -- died in police custody in the small town of Shwe Kyin in the Bago district of Myanmar’s biggest city, Yangon.

A police officer in Shwe Kyin Township told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday that 10 officers had been arrested for the death since Dec. 29 after the suspect’s body was found in a creek near the town.

“The death was not premeditated. But police headquarters in capital Nay Pyi Taw instructed us to investigate,” the officer said by phone on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to media.

“We had found that police did not follow the rules and regulations during the interrogation."

He said 10 local police have been charged under sections 302, 210 and 114 of Myanmar’s Penal Code, which carry a death sentence if found guilty.

The current government of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, with the help of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has been trying to reform the police force since taking power earlier this year.

Soe Lin Aye, a senior officer at police headquarters in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw, underlined to Anadolu Agency on Tuesday that with the country enjoying a transition to democracy it is now crucial for law enforcement officers to reform their practices.

“Police have to follow the prescribed law so that people can have trust in us,” he said by telephone.

 
Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Ocak 2017, 13:23
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