Who Has Been Arrested in Myanmar Since the Military Coup?

By The Irrawaddy 12 February 2021

The Myanmar military this week detained student anti-coup protesters, civil servants involved in the civil disobedience movement, and heads of election sub-commissions, expanding its targeted groups from members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), who top the list of detainees.

The arrests came after the street-protests and civil disobedience movement—civil servants who refuse to work under the military regime—grew nationwide despite an increase in the use of force against protesters.

By Thursday, scores of demonstrators  who staged protests against the military coup in Mandalay, Kachin, Rakhine, Shan, Mon, Bago, Ayeyawady and Yangon had been arrested, according to a list of detainees released by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP). High school students, university students and leaders of student unions were among those detained by the military. A few have already faced charges under the Peaceful Assembly Law and Natural Disaster Management Law.

On Friday, 14 more student protesters in Mawlamyine, the capital of Mon State, were arrested, bringing the total number of detained protesters to 65. The arrests came after the police fired warning shots near peaceful protesters at Mawlamyine University on Friday morning. Last night the university’s Students’ Union office was also raided.

A woman protester is violently hauled away during her arrest by a group of male police officers during a demonstration in Mandalay. / Facebook

A total of 23 chairs of township and district election sub-commissions were arrested on Wednesday and Thursday nights, according to the AAPP. The chairman of the Union Election Commission was arrested when the military launched the coup on Feb. 1. The election commission rejected the military’s claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 general election, in which the NLD won another landslide.

More than 100 NLD leaders and senior members—including State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, Vice-President U Henry Van Thio, the Union Parliament speakers and deputy speakers, the Union ministers, the chief ministers of all 14 states and regions, the speakers and deputy speakers of the state and regional legislatures, ministers from state and regional cabinets and at least eight NLD Central Executive Committee members, have been detained since Feb. 1.

Mandalay City Development Committee members, doctors, police officers and teachers who joined the civil disobedience movement have also been detained. Two policemen in Ayeyarwady Region were arrested and charged under the Myanmar Police Force Maintenance of Discipline Law for posting messages on Facebook against the military coup. A policeman in Myeik, Tanintharyi Region who delivered a speech against the military coup at a public demonstration was also arrested on Feb. 9. The number of arrested civil servants has yet to be confirmed.

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