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Body of NLD politician found in Myanmar’s Kayin state

The body of a National League for Democracy MP has been found two weeks after his arrest. Kyaw Myo Min had been tied up and buried in a shallow grave in Kayin state’s Hpa-An township. He had been arrested in his home town of Belin in neighboring Mon state on June 22 along with two other NLD members and a local who were traveling by motorcycle. Junta forces shot at them and they were then arrested.

An NLD member told RFA the troops had tried to hide Kyaw Myo Min’s body.

“He was tied up at his back and buried on the shore of the creek, but he was not buried well and his head was visible. It seems the body was dumped on the shore of the creek and covered with leaves. It was difficult to identify the body as it had decomposed. There were no visible bullet or stab wounds”, he said.

A member of Kyaw Myo Min’s family, who spoke on condition of anonymity for safety reasons, said the family knew he was in danger because it was impossible to contact him after his arrest.

Last Saturday locals also found the bodies of the other two arrested NLD members, Pan Myint and Ko Ko Maung. The bodies were dumped in Hpa-An township close to where the MP’s body was found.

There are a number of infantry troops stationed in Belin township: the Thein Zayat-based Kha Ma Ya 207 brigade, the Kyaik Hto-based Kha La Ya , Kha Ma Ya 102 from Tha Hton, along with Military Battalion 33 and the Border Guard Force Brigade. It is not yet known which troops were involved in the arrests and killings.

Calls to the military council spokesman by RFA went unanswered and it has not released any statement on Kyaw Myo Min’s arrest.

One of his family members told RFA the local who was arrested with the NLD members managed to escape so the troops broke the other captives’ legs and critically injured Kyaw Myo Min.

“Now they are doing what the powerful do: anything they want without following laws regarding prisoners,” said an NLD source and colleague of the murdered MP.

“I will record their illegal activities so I can recall them during the [coming] revolution. People will know who committed the crimes and they will be made to suffer one day.” 

Kyaw Myo Min became an MP in 2011. He also served as chairman of the Belin branch of the NLD.

An NLD statement released in May said 917 NLD members had been arrested since the coup on February 1, 2021. It also said 18 party members, including MPs, died due to inadequate health care and brutal interrogations.

Many NLD members joined the mass protests after the 2021 coup and armed themselves to fight after junta forces launched a brutal crackdown on peaceful protests.