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Security high as Yangon taxi driver’s rape, murder trial gets underway

On 9 February, women's rights advocates in Yangon rallied against a taxi driver accused of the rape and murder of a 26-year-old employee of the national Food and Drug Administration. (Photo: DVB)

The first court hearing got underway this morning in Yangon for Myo Zaw Oo, 27, a taxi driver accused of the rape and murder of  a 26-year-old employee of the national Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The hearing was held in private as security around the courthouse was beefed up, such is the emotion swirling around the case. Demonstrators gathered outside North Dagon Township Court since early this morning, calling for the death penalty.

“We are demanding the death penalty for anyone who commits rape or murder,” said campaign organiser Tin Thandar. “We are prepared to work with the parliament and relevant organisations to bring about legislative reform on this matter.”

Speaking to DVB, a local resident from Sanchaung Township said, “I came here today to see the face of that rapist, but I was told he was taken out the back door. I want to see that guy given the death penalty.”

Like others gathered outside the courthouse, the Sanchaung resident questioned why the hearing was held in private and was not accessible to the public.