Aung Myo Thant & Nyan Win Shein
YANGON- While taxi driver Myo Zaw Oo made his second court appearance for having allegedly raped and killed a female staff member of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an protest demanding the death sentence for rapists was held near North Dagon Township’s court yesterday.
The demonstration was organized by the Myanmar Women’s Safeguarding Team, which also distributed pamphlets headlined, “Any rape case must be given the death sentence” to the public.
“We aim to enact a new law giving death sentences to rapists instead of prison punishment. We request the government gives the death sentence to any rapists without granting amnesty,” said Khin Thandar, a secretary of Myanmar Women’s Safeguarding Team.
A convicted child rapist may now only receive a seven-year prison sentence, she said. It is not fair that Myo Zaw Oo allegedly raped and killed a staff member and will only go to jail, she said. No one must grant amnesty for him.
“There is no law in our country and there is no safety for the women. All Myanmar women want to give the death sentence to rapists. We request the government gives the death sentence to rapists including those previously convicted,” said Khin Thandar.
No media were allowed to take photos at Myo Zaw Oo’s second court appearance at the North Dagon Township Court. He was returned to prison after the appearance.
According to the police record, the police were informed on January 21 that a woman had been found dead beside Ngamoyake Creek Bridge in North Dagon Township. Investigating officers found injuries to her body, which was sent to North Oakkalapa Hospital.
The police identified that the decreased as Shwe Yee Win aka Shwe Yee, an FDA staff member who lived in Dagon Township. She had returned to Yangon on January 19 from Nay Pyi Taw, and had left her residence at 7am on January 20, and her father called police when she did not return home by 8pm.
According to relatives, she visited Hledan Centre at around 7:30pm. In a conversation with her father, he told her to come home by taxi. Her friend, Min Zaw Aung, inquired whether she arrived back or not around 7:50pm, according to the police record.
Police checked the traffic control centre and a phone services shop informed them that a man came to the shop with the suspect’s handset. The police arrested Myo Zaw Oo, a taxi driver who lived in North Dagon Township.
He confessed to the crime under interrogation. They interrogated him and he confessed the crime. They also found scratches on his chest.
According to his confession as shared by police, he drove along Insein Road looking for a passenger around 7:40pm and found a female passenger who wanted a ride to Dagon Township. They quarrelled over taxi fare near her home. He stopped his car and went to the back to strangle her. She passed out when he stabbed her with a screwdriver to her neck. He drove back to North Dagon Township and raped her while she was passed out. He took her necklace, foot chain, earring, purse and handset. He discarded her body near the bridge in the township.
A funeral of FDA staff was held in Yeway Cemetery on January 23, attended by many people.