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One prisoner killed, seven others injured in a riot

September 15, 2013

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One prisoner was killed and seven others injured on September 13 in a prison riot in southern Myanmar that was sparked by the use of torture, according to officials.

The incident started at around 8pm on that day at 9 Mile Prison located in Kawthaung Township, Tanintharyi Region.

Prison officials tried to disperse a crowd of prisoners by cutting off the power lines in the prison. Gunfire broke out soon afterward, resulting in casualty and the injuries.

“The riot started after a fight between two prisoners namely Ye Ko Hlaing and Htun Htun there. [Prisoners] tore down roofs and doors of room (3) and (4) of Ward (1), trying get out and started burning down the bedrooms. [The officials] cut off the power lines for the rooms. The situation became out of control and eight prisoners got injured when the prison officials fired on the crowd. When the officials sent the injured to Kawthaung Township Hospital, one prisoner identified as Htay Nge was dead at the hospital. The situation is now under control,” said a police officer who took part in the action.

Three of the injured are so seriously injured that the officials are preparing to send them to Myeik District Hospital, the police said.

“The problem started after the two prisoners got into a fight which was calmed down by the prison officials. And later the prison warden Saw Hla Chit called them back and asked a group of prison staff to kick and punch them. When other prisoners heard loud crying of them being beaten up, they started shouting “The governor, do not torture prisoners,” and “The governor, do not beat up prisoners,”. When the officials tried to calm down the noisy shouting by turning off the power and gunfire which killed one prisoner on the spot and seven got injured,” said Than Tun from Democratic Party (Myanmar) who met with the injured.

Three from the party and two from 88th generation Peace and Open society were allowed to meet the injured, and relatives of the injured were not allowed to meet the media.

“The shooting started at past 8pm, leaving one killed and seven others injured. It’s said roofs of prison rooms were torn down, but the damaged areas still has yet to be inspected,” said an official from Kawthaung District Administration Department.

The dead is said to be jailed for illegal logging, but not convicted of that crime yet.

88th generation Peace and Open society and Democratic Party (Myanmar) are in cooperation with officials to meet the injured and their relatives.

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