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Murdered Eleven journalist case still unsolved

Soe Moe Tun was an Eleven Media correspondent based in Monywa, Sagaing Division.

Monywa township police admit that they have been unable to charge any suspects in a case dating back to December 2016 involving the murder of Eleven Media reporter Soe Moe Tun.

The Monywa-based journalist was found dead in the early hours of 13 December, when he had been returning by foot from a karaoke bar, or KTV. He had two head wounds and a swollen forehead, and his left eyebrow was split open.

Before his death, Soe Moe Tun had focused his reporting on illegal logging and KTV operations in Monywa and the surrounding areas.

Three months ago, the station commander of Monywa township police station, who was ultimately responsible person for the case, was transferred to Rangoon for reasons that have not been made clear.

The new police station commander, Police Captain Kyin Sein, told DVB on Saturday that his predecessor had handed over the case file to him and that they are still investigating.

“I interrogated again the owner of Blue Sky KTV and I also demanded to speak to his staff, but he told me they were no longer in his employ. It is difficult to ascertain the truth in this case,” he said.

The murdered journalist’s widow Khin Cho Latt said that the new station commander questioned her on 25 July. She said that she and Soe Moe Tun’s family were disappointed with the investigation by Monywa police station.

“I know the [local] police cannot investigate major cases,” she said. “But I hope the police can do something about my husband’s murder. Both the media and the public are interested to know what happened.”

Sagaing Division’s Chief Minister Myint Naing recently announced that he had instructed Monywa police to continue searching for the truth. He added that he had also urged the new station commander to report any new evidence or information directly to the chief minister’s office.

“I promised him [Chief Minister Myint Naing] that I would find the murderers and get to the bottom of the case,” said Police Captain Kyin Sein.

Monywa police previously arrested two suspects from the KTV bar, but both were able to provide alibis. A third suspect, a truck driver working in the local logging industry, was detained in January but later released.