Myanmar: Second politician dies in custody, raising questions if the military is torturing and killing detainees

A second party figure from Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) died in custody after he was arrested on Tuesday.

The NLD’s Zaw Myat Linn died in custody after he was detained in Yangon, said Ba Myo Thein, a member of the dissolved upper house of parliament.

“He’s been participating continuously in the protests,” Ba Myo Thein said. “Now the relatives are trying to retrieve the body at the Military Hospital.”

Zaw Myat Linn, who ran a vocational institute in Myanmar’s biggest city, is the second NLD official to have died in custody in recent days. Khin Maung Latt, who worked as a campaign manager for an NLD MP elected in 2020, died after he was arrested on Saturday.

Their deaths have raised questions about whether the military is torturing and killing detainees.

Myanmar was plunged into turmoil after the army detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and officials from her National League for Democracy party on February 1 and seized control of the country. The coup has triggered mass protests, daily strikes and indiscriminate police fire that has left dozens of anti-coup protesters dead.

More than 60 protesters have been killed in the crackdown and nearly 2,000 detained, said the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which has been tracking arrests since the coup.

The army has justified the coup by saying the November election, which the NLD won in a landslide, was marred by fraud, a claim rejected by the electoral commission.