A grieving mother has vowed to unearth the truth about the death of her teenage daughter. She says the initial finding – upheld by two courts – of accidental death by drowning is not satisfactory.
Daw Naw May Sae says she has seen a police photograph of her daughter’s body that shows injuries to her mouth, neck, back and arm.
While township and district courts have rejected her application for a review, the case will now be reviewed by the Yangon Region High Court.
Second-year medical student Naw May Thu Thu Zaw, 19, went missing after being picked up by her boyfriend in Mayangone about 11am on April 19. Her body was found the next day at 6am by the Hlaing River in Insein township, not far from her boyfriend’s house.
“The pathologist said my daughter had no external wounds, and there was water in her lungs. So the court decided it was death by drowning,” said Daw Naw May Sae.
“Her boyfriend called her home at Hmawbi about 7:30pm on April 19 and told her cousin to meet my daughter at Hmawbi bus station. But she never arrived,” said Daw Naw May Sae, who then reported her daughter to the police as a missing person.
“That evening, the police told me they had found my daughter’s things at the Aung Zeya Bridge, and that a body had been found in Insein,” she said.
By the time she saw the body at Insein hospital, it was in a state of decomposition. A township court investigation concluded in September that the cause of death was drowning, a finding confirmed by a district court in January.
“But when we met the township officer who carried my daughter’s body from the river, he said he had taken a picture of her body, which I had never seen,” said Daw Naw May Sae. The picture showed the injuries to the body, which included a broken arm. But her request to the court for further investigation was turned down, she said.
“I want to find out the truth, and to find out who is responsible for my daughter’s death,” said Daw Naw May Sae.
88 New Generation legal adviser Ko Lin Lin said his organisation would help the mother. “We are collecting facts about the deposition in the lower court,” he said.