Asia

Myanmar court 'must investigate Aung Kyaw Naing death'

Aung Naing (right) with Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi
Image caption Aung Naing (right) had met opposition figure Aung San Suu Kyi several times

A Burmese state-backed rights body has recommended that a civilian court should investigate the death of a journalist in army custody.

Aung Kyaw Naing, a freelance journalist, was killed in October after being detained by the military near the border with Thailand.

The report by the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission listed multiple injuries to his body.

But it made no judgement on how he was killed.

Aung Kyaw Naing was shot dead on 4 October after being arrested reporting on clashes between the military and an ethnic rebel group.

The army said he was working for the rebels and that they had shot him when he tried to escape.

In November, his body was exhumed and sent for a post-mortem examination after his family raised questions over how he died and why he was then buried so quickly.

According to the investigation, he had a cracked skull, a broken arm and ribs and was hit by five bullets including one from a shot from beneath his jaw, reports the BBC's Jonah Fisher from Yangon.

His wife says she believes he was tortured - but this report stops short of that conclusion.

Instead it recommends the case be taken to a civilian court for the sake of greater transparency, our correspondent adds.

Aung Kyaw Naing had often reported on ethnic issues along the Myanmar-Thai border for local newspapers, and had met opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi several times.

The circumstances of his death provoked international concern, with the US calling on Myanmar (also known as Burma) to conduct a "credible and transparent investigation".

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