Freelance journalist Aung Kyaw Naing, aka Par Gyi, was killed in military custody on Oct. 4, 2014. He reportedly was detained on Sept. 30 while covering violent clashes between Myanmar’s military and the rebel group Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) near the Thai border. Military reports originally claimed that he was taken into custody as a communications officer for the political wing of the DKBA and that he was shot to death after attempting to wrest a gun from a soldier and escape. His body was buried by the military in Kyaike Mayaw township in Mon state.
Following outcry from journalists and civil society, Myanmar President U Thein Sein asked the National Human Rights Commission to lead an investigation into the death. The body of Aung Kyaw Naing was exhumed, revealing that he suffered a cracked skull, broken ribs and a broken arm, and was shot five times. In a Dec. 2, 2014 report, the commission recommended that the matter be brought before a civilian court. The Commission cited gunshot wounds as the cause of death, but stopped short of confirming suspicions that Aung Kyaw Naing was tortured while in custody. His wife, political activist Than Dar, said that she believes that her husband was tortured. She also said that she will form a coalition to pressure authorities to investigate the death further.