Young Karen Domestic Worker’s Unexplained Death Sparks Concerns in Migrant Community

The unexpected death of a young Karen woman found in a Bangkok apartment on January 3, 2017, has raised suspicions among the Karen community.

The circumstances surrounding the death of the young woman, Nan Pawt Eh Mwee, 22, (also know as) Nan Htay Htay Oo have left many in the Karen migrant communities unconvinced of official explanations.

On January 11, the family members and other concern friends have forwarded the case to the Lawyers Council of Thailand for investigation.

Earlier reports said that Nan Pawt Eh Mwee had not been to work since December 31st, 2016. It was another three days, on January 3, before her employer went to the woman’s apartment room to check on her and found her body.

Reports on the Myanmar-Thailand Friendship Channel said that the initial findings by Thai local police indicated that Nan Pawt Eh Mwee had hung herself. The reports said that her body was then taken to hospital for further examination and an autopsy, but until now no results have been made available. The report also claimed that local police said that CCTV footage from the apartment would not be available for two months.

Social media reports sparked further controversy after the body of Nan Pawt Eh Mwee was cremated on January 7, 2017 before any concrete results being announced from the forensic investigation.

Sources within the Bangkok Karen migrant community claim that they have been denied a viewing of Nan Pawt Eh Mwee body at the hospital and at the Temple despite repeated requests by funeral attendees to take a last look at the body before the cremation.

Nan Moe Si Si Toe, a Karen working on Nan Pawt Eh Mwee case, spoke to Karen News.

“Starting from the time when her body was found, taken to hospital and taken to temple and to the cremation, no [outside] witness has seen the body. The person responsible at the crematory said that viewing of the body had been forbidden by officials from the Ministry of Health. The another crematory official said that Nan Pawt Eh Mwee’s coffin came with an official letter from the police station that it was to remain closed.”

Nan Moe Si Si Toe claimed that a sister of Nan Pawt Eh Mwee, who attended the funeral service also refused for the coffin to be opened when requested by the crowd who wanted to take a last look at the body.

Nan Moe Si Si Toe said that she is trying to collect evidence from the hospital and from the police station in order to open an investigation.

Close friends of Nan Pawt Eh Mwee are unconvinced that the strong, determined and hard-working young woman they knew would took her own life under any circumstances.

Nan Pawt Eh Mwee, originally from Kler Htor village, Naung Bo area in Hlaingbwe Township Karen State was active in the migrant workers community and attended training organized by the Bangkok based Oversea Karen Refugees’ Social Organization (OKRSO) and took part in many Karen cultural and religious activities.

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