Thi had become a popular artist and a familiar face for the defiance against the military's oppressive regime after he penned lines: "They shoot in the head, but they don't know the revolution is in the heart." (Source of image: Republic World)
Khet Thi (45), a Myanmar poet died overnight after he was arrested, while his body was returned with removed organs on May 9. His works declared resistance to the ruling junta. Junta's spokesman did not answer the calls for a comment on the death of Khet Thi.
A protester holds up a poster featuring Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration against the military coup in front of the Central Bank of Myanmar in Yangon. (Source of image: The Hindustan Times)
Chaw Su, Khet Thi's wife informed that both of them were taken for interrogation on May 8, by armed soldiers and police in the central town of Shwebo, in the Sagaing region. Its a center of resistance to the coup in which Aung San Suu Kyi, the elected leader was ousted. His wife said to BBC Burmese language news, "I was interrogated. So was he. They said he was at the interrogation center. But he didn't come back, only his body, They called me in the morning and told me to meet him at the hospital in Monywa. I thought it was just for a broken arm or something. But when I arrived here, he was at the morgue and his internal organs were taken out."
The hospital had told her that Khet Thi had a heart problem, but she didn't read the death certificate as she knew it would not be true. The army had planned to bury him but Chaw Su pleaded for the body. Though she did not say as to how she knew about the removal of her husband's organs.
Protesters shout slogans as police arrive during a protest against the military coup in Mandalay, Myanmar. (Source of image: INSIDER)
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners activist group said, "He died at the hospital after being tortured in the interrogation center." They wrote this in a bulletin where the toll of 780 killed civilians was put, since the coup. The details and the source of the above information were not mentioned by the group.
Since the Feb. 1 coup, Khet Thi was the third poet to die during protests. Also, one of Khet Thi's friends K Za Win (39, a poet), was shot dead in early March during a protest in Monywa. In spite of the killings and thousands of arrests, there have been various cultural figures and celebrities as prominent supporters of the opposition to the coup with protests daily in different parts of the Southeast Asian country.
Anti-coup protesters hold the flag of the National League for Democracy party of ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, while others flash the three-fingered salute during a "flash mob" rally in Bahan township in Yangon, Myanmar. (Source of image: Fox News)
To focus on his poetry and to support himself, Khet Thi had quit his job as an engineer in 2012. Two weeks after the coup, he wrote -- "I don't want to be a hero, I don't want to be a martyr, I don't want to be a weakling, I don't want to be a fool... I don't want to support injustice. If I have only a minute to live, I want my conscience to be clean for that minute." Recently he wrote that he is not someone who could fire a gun, but a guitar player, a cake baker, and a poet. Though he implied that there was a change in his attitude -- "My people are being shot and I can only throw back poems. But when you are sure your voice is not enough, then you need to choose a gun carefully. I will shoot."