Activist Sought by Myanmar Junta Says Parents Being Held Hostage

By The Irrawaddy 8 July 2021

Junta forces in Mogoke, Mandalay Region in April arrested the parents of a wanted anti-regime activist and charged them under Section 505(a) of the Penal Code.

The parents and a sister-in-law of Ma Thaw Thaw were arrested at her house on April 26 when junta forces did not find her there.

“They came to my house for me and took all my family members when they did not find me at home. My dad suggested only he be taken, as the breadwinner of the family. But they told him to shut up and took all the family members,” Ma Thaw Thaw said.

Ma Thaw Thaw’s sister-in-law was released on June 30. According to her, Ma Thaw Thaw’s parents were beaten in prison—her father so badly that his teeth were knocked out.

Ma Thaw Thaw has a large number of followers on Facebook as she often shared short funny videos of herself with her mother. She has actively taken part in anti-regime protests.

“They had not charged me under Section 505(a) before they tried to catch me by surprise at my house for staging protests. They have taken my parents hostage because of the fact that I am known by a lot of people in the town. I am in a safe place now,” Ma Thaw Thaw said.

“My mother would accompany me sometimes when I took to the streets. As for my father, he doesn’t even know how to use the internet. And he is advanced in age. What we do has nothing to do with our parents. They are holding my parents hostage,” she added.

On June 30 the regime released more than 2,000 people who had been detained over the previous five months for anti-regime activities. Ma Thaw Thaw’s sister-in-law was one of four detainees in Mogoke who were among those released.

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