Wife of slain Yangon man refuses to believe he died in gay hookup

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Last week, Yangon police in Hmawbi township arrested two men suspected of robbing and killing a 30-year-old Myaung Taka man who went missing earlier this month. But instead of the case being wrapped up neatly, the victim’s wife says the police got it wrong and is demanding to know the truth.

At issue in the case for May Thet Soe is her refusal to accept the police’s version of events: That her husband, Aung Ko Win, was murdered by a man he’d had casual sex with – she insists her husband was not gay.

“It simply came to my notice then. Because he has not had that since we were married,” she told reporters Friday.

On Oct. 7, Aung Ko Win was found dead without any clothes on a bench near a toilet in the Myaung Taka Industrial Zone Market with six stab wounds to the chest. His motorbike and mobile phone were missing.

Three young men and motorbike taxi driver Mya Aye from Oh Tan, soon appeared at a pawn shop in Shan Su ward where they sold the missing motorcycle for 300,000 kyat. The driver and three men: Aung Lin Latt, 19; Kyaw Min Tun, 20; and Thura Soe, 22; were taken into custody and interrogated Oct. 13.

According to the police report out Thursday, Aung Ko Win had met Kyaw Min Tun there on Oct. 6 and took him on a motorcycle to have sex near a toilet in the new market area, according to Kyaw Min Tun’s confession. Then, police said, Kyaw Min Tun told his friend Aung Lin Latt about it and encouraged him to steal Aung Ko Win’s motorcycle. The next day, Kyaw Min Tun called Aung Ko Win to have sex again. After Aung Ko Win arrived at the scene and was taking off his shirt, Kyaw Min Tun stabbed him with a machete he had brought with him. Aung Ko Win fought back, and Kyaw Min Tun asked Aung Lin Latt for help, so Aung Lin Latt snatched the knife and stabbed Aung Ko Win in the chest. Both attackers stabbed him: Kyaw Min Tun in the neck before striking him with a brick. Aung Lin Latt’s clothes were thrown into the woods next to the factory.

But May Thet Soe is fighting those conclusions, not for lack of evidence, but because of the damage his engaging in gay sex would bring to the family’s reputation.

“Because the rest of the family is going to have a bad reputation, I want to have the truth,” she said. “It is also gives a bad name to the deceased. I want the police to find out the truth.”

She said Aung Ko Win had been home with his family the night before he died.

Aung Ko Win’s last Facebook post was Oct. 7, where he discussed the 1988 uprising.

A friend of his agrees with his wife.

“He was good at socializing. On the other hand, I heard that there were people in the factory where he worked who hated him because he fought against injustices. According to the police, the accused said that he had committed homosexuality. He does not have this habit,” Htike Htike said, adding that Aung Ko Win had two young daughters.

Nonetheless, Hmawbi township police have filed murder charges against two men, including Kyaw Min Tun. Officers have refused to discuss the case with the media.

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This article, Wife of slain Yangon man refuses to believe he died in gay hookup, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

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