Maesot-based freelance reporter Ko Par Gyi was arrested by Burmese army at the end of September in Kyaikmaraw Township while covering the news of fighting between DKBA and government troops. Par Gyi was a former aide of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in 1988-1989 and his wife was also a former political prisoner. His whereabouts as well as his fate is still unknown.
His wife Than Dar said local authorities, police and soldiers of Light Infantry Battalion 208, based in Kyaikmayaw, had apprehended the journalist in the town in late September or early October, and he had not been heard of since.
“I am very worried about whether my husband is still alive or not,” she said during a press conference held in Rangoon on Tuesday afternoon, where she was being supported by human rights activists. “They [the army] should show him in public.”
Mon State Border Affairs Minister Htay Myint Aung told The Irrawaddy that the police had apprehended Aung Kyaw Naing and then handed him over to local army commanders. “That’s all I know about that story, he is being detained at the base of battalion 208,” he said.
Than Dar said a police corporal at Kyaikmayaw Police Station had told her privately that he had seen Aung Kyaw Naing in custody of the army, and that he appeared to have been beaten.
She said she visited the battalion 208 base with the help of the Mon National Party, where an army captain claimed his men had detained the journalist and then handed him over to the Border Affairs Ministry. A recent visit to the military’s Southeastern Command in Moulmein had neither helped to clarify the situation.
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