“At 9 o’clock in the morning [on October 26th], the [Kyaikmayaw Township] police [denied approval for the case of Ko Par Gyi’s death] to go to trial, but, at 4 pm, the district official phoned us, informing [us that] they would allow [the case] to go to trial. [The trial will be held] not at the district office, but [the] township office; case no. 11/2014 [will be] put on trial,” said Ma Thandar, in an interview with IMNA.
It has been requested that a full investigation be launched into the death of Ko Par Gyi, his body retrieved, and that those responsible for his death be taken to court and punished under the full extent of the law.
“The police station said [that] because it is [a] case of death, it needs time. Investigation will be conducted after digging up the corpse, and, only after that, the corpse can be taken,” said Ma Thandar.
The government army released a statement that on the night of October 4th, Ko Par Gyi was in the custody of Light Infantry Battalion No. 208 when he tried to grab a gun from one of the soldiers and run away; in response the guard shot the journalist dead.
The statement continued that the journalist’s body was buried somewhere 800 miles south of Shwewarchaung Village.
On October 26th, the Kyaikmaway Town Police allowed Ko Par Gyi’s death, case no. 11/2014, to be put to trial, as requested. The trial will commence with the questioning of Adjutant Captain San Win Aung of Light Infantry Battalion 208, who was involved in the arrest, torture, and attempts to hide the corpse of Ko Par Gyi.
According to the Kyaikmayaw Town Police Station, the police have submitted requests to appropriate government departments to excavate the corpse of Ko Par Gyi.
Freelance journalist Ko Par Gyi was arrested while covering the outbreak of fighting between the government army and the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) in Kyaikmayaw Township, Mon State.