13 Charged For Alleged Ties to Arakan Army, 13 Others Released

By Min Aung Khine 19 February 2019

SITTWE, Rakhine State — A court in Rakhine State’s Kyauktaw Township on Monday charged 13 of 26 ethnic Arakanese arrested over the previous weeks on suspicion of breaking the Unlawful Associations Act and released the others.

Among those charged are 11 people from Shin Let Wa Village, in Chin State’s Paletwa Township, and the couple who sheltered them at their home in Kyauktaw, according to defense lawyer U Tun Hla.

“The 13 were charged at the Kyauktaw Township Court on Monday. Because there was no strong evidence against 13 others, they were asked to sign a pledge at the police station and released in the evening,” he told The Irrawaddy.

A total 24 people from Shin Let Wa Village were taking shelter with the couple in Kyauktaw, having fled their homes in late January to escape nearby fighting between the Myanmar military and Arakan Army (AA).

The couple had informed the ward administrator and the township’s police force and General Administration Department about their guests but were arrested along with them in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 4 on suspicion of having ties to the AA.

They were sued by Major Naing Aung Phyo of the military’s Battalion No. 275 based in Kyauktaw.

The next hearing for those charged is scheduled for March 4.

Police Captain Hla Htay, of Police Station No. 1 in Sittwe, the state capital, said they have been interrogated at his station.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.