9 May 2021: Myanmar poet Khet Thi has died while in detention after being arrested by armed soldiers and police alongside his wife, Chaw Su, on 8 May 2021 for an unknown reason, reported Reuters.
After the interrogation, Poet’s wife was released while Thi, whose artwork opposed the ruling junta, was held in detention overnight. Su was called into the hospital on 9 May, where she found out about her husband’s death. She was informed that Thi had heart problems, which could result in his death.
Human rights organisation Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) released statistics stating that as of 9 May 2021, 780 protesters have been killed, 4899 have been arrested, and 3826 are detained.
AAPP DAILY UPDATE (09/05)
780 killed by this junta
4899 total arrested since coup
3826 currently detained/sentenced
1540 evading arrest warrant
— AAPP (Burma) (@aapp_burma) May 9, 2021
Khet Thi was a prominent poet known for his pro-democracy stances. One of his most distinguished lines is: “They shoot in the head, but they don’t know the revolution is in the heart.”
In its recently published letter in solidarity with artists and cultural workers in Myanmar, Freemuse states that the actions of the Tatmadaw, Myanmar military forces, have impacted the rights of artists and cultural actors, including the right to freedom of artistic expression. Since February 2021, Freemuse has documented more than 25 instances of violations against artists in the country.