YANGON: A Myanmar publisher whose magazine has criticized the military, political and business establishment was found stabbed to death in his office at the weekend, police said yesterday.
Wai Yan Heinn, 27, was stabbed 15 times with a knife in his chest and abdomen, police captain Yin Htwe told Reuters.
“We’re now investigating his death and awaiting the results of the autopsy,” Yin Htwe said.
Journalists and activists are often targeted in Myanmar, where freedom of speech still faces considerable obstacles, more than a year since Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi took power after a landslide election win.
In the past three months, a prominent lawyer who worked to change the military-drafted constitution was assassinated, and a journalist was threatened after speaking out against nationalist Buddhists. In December, a reporter covering illegal logging and crime in the country’s rugged northwest was beaten to death.
Wai Yan Heinn published a weekly news magazine called Iron Rose which, according to frontpage images available online, has run stories criticizing Myanmar’s former ruling generals and businessmen connected to them.
One headline described Suu Kyi, who is the country’s de facto leader but under the constitution is barred from the presidency because her two sons are foreigners, as a “drone president”, implying she controls the government from the back seat.
Police said the victim’s body was discovered lying in a chair in his Yangon office on Sunday after neighbors reported a rotten odor.
“We loved our son so much, I’m speechless,” his mother said after the funeral on Tuesday, asking not to be named out of fear of retribution.
She said the family was heartbroken because Wai Yan Heinn was their only son. She did not know why he was killed.