More than three dozen civilians have died after being interrogated by soldiers since the February 1 military coup in Myanmar, said a report by Radio Free Asia’s Myanmar Service.
The report said at least 41 people who have been questioned as suspects by the authorities have died in detention centers, police prisons, and jails within a few days of their arrest.
At least two people died last week following interrogations, the RFA report quoted sources.
The military seized power in a coup on February 1, claiming that the victory by the National League for Democracy in the ovember 2020 general elections was the result of voter fraud.
It has yet to provide evidence of its claims and has violently repressed widespread protests, killing 1,023 people and arresting 5,975 since the coup, according to the Bangkok-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
The military has since stepped up offensives in remote parts of the country, triggering fierce battles with local People’s Defense Force militias and ethnic armies that control large swathes of territory along Myanmar’s periphery.
Aung Myo Min, the human rights minister for Myanmar’s shadow National Unity Government, said the truth must be uncovered about what happened to the 41 people who have died after being interrogated by the military.
“We are going to set up a mechanism to investigate and prosecute the crimes from the past,” he said.
“We have been submitting the cases of the deaths from military torture and arrest of children to the UN Human Rights Council. We will have to work together to bring down the junta to stop these crimes.”
Aung Myo Min said the NUG hopes that evidence of the abuses will lead to serious repercussions for the military during the upcoming 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York next month.
RFA’s report said civilians who have died in a matter of days or hours after detention include members of the NLD party from Shwe Pyi Thar and Pabaedan townships and the capital Naypyidaw.