Police Reject Case for Youth Beaten for Wearing Daw Aung San Suu Kyi T-Shirt

Buthidaung: Police in Buthidaung in Arakan State have refused to accept a case that was filed by a local youth who was assaulted allegedly for wearing a t-shirt printed with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s picture.

“I went to Seinnyinpyin Village on my bike on Thursday to take some papers while wearing a t-shirt with Daw Suu’s picture. When I was there, a youth known as Kyu Kyu hit my face with his fists though I had done nothing wrong to him. There were so many people and police there as well when he assaulted me,” the victim, Ko Ray Thein told Narinjara.

He said the assailant left his face wounded and ran away from the scene after people nearby came and intervened.

“I reported the incident to the Myoma Police Station in Buthidaung at 11 am on Friday to take legal action against my assailant, but the on-duty police officer, SP Ba Phyu, told me that they could not register the case against him. The station in-charge, U Tun Hline, and the township in-charge of police, U Aung Thar Win, were also there and told me the same, and I had to leave the station as they refused to accept the case,” he said.

He said the police refused to accept his case most likely because of his frequent activities in the town supporting Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

“The police here do not like me for my frequent political activities in Buthidaung. I was attacked in 2010 as well, though I had no personal enmity with the people here. I had then also lodged a complaint with the police, but they did not take any action in that case either,” he said.

Ray Thein said he has no personal enmity or problem with Kyu Kyu, but the authority and police of Seinnyinpyin Village put him up to the attack.

“I support Daw Aung San Suu Kyi especially for her policies for the ethnic people in the country, but the people, particularly the authorities and police, do not like me for supporting her, and they forced Kyu Kyu to hit me when I was going to Seinnyinpyin Village yesterday wearing the t-shirt with her picture,” he said.

The Myoma Police Station did not pick up phone calls when contacted by Narinjara for a comment on the matter.

Ray Thein is well known for his activist activities in Buthidaung and was briefly arrested by authorities for his solo protest on 2 September, 2007, when he held a placard inscribed with demands for a decrease in commodity and gasoline prices.

“Ko Ray Thein is the son of U Ray Tin and Daw Thein Ye, and he is well known for his political activities in Buthidaung. He was assaulted yesterday though he had not done anything that would impinge on anyone except for wearing the t-shirt with the picture of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. He complained of the matter to the police, but they refused to accept his complaints. Now we are planning to report the matter to our head office in Rangoon,” said a member of the National League for Democracy from Buthidaung. He said that Ray Thein is also a member of the NLD and has been carrying out political activities in Buthidaung.