Burma

Myanmar Junta Arrests Former NLD Lawmakers From Rakhine State

By The Irrawaddy 13 May 2021

Junta forces arrested two former National League for Democracy (NLD) lawmakers from Rakhine State on Wednesday afternoon.

Daw Ni Ni May Myint and Daw Chit Chit Chaw are both from Taungup Township, Rakhine State but were arrested in Yangon. Daw Ni Ni May Myint was reportedly detained while she was taking her child to school.

“Her arrest is confirmed. The child was sent back to her relatives. Daw Chit Chit Chaw was arrested, too. The younger brother of Daw Ni Ni May Myint has also been detained recently,” said U Lin Naing, the husband of Daw Ni Ni May Myint.

A number of NLD politicians from Rakhine State have been arrested by the junta in recent days, including Ma Moe Hsan Suu Kyi, the daughter of ousted Rakhine State chief minister U Nyi Pu.

Ma Moe Hsan Suu Kyi was detained in her apartment in Hledan in Yangon’s Kamayut Township on Sunday evening. She is a member of the NLD’s central committee for youth affairs and is from Gwa Township in Rakhine State.

Her father U Nyi Pu has been charged under article 505(b) of the Penal Code for allegedly causing fear or alarm through an offense against the state or public tranquility. He faces up to two years in prison.

Daw Ni Ni May Myint’s younger brother Ko Hein Min Htet, also a member of the NLD’s central committee for youth affairs, was arrested on May 8, along with NLD central executive committee members U Ba Myo Thein and U Soe Lay while they were at the NLD’s Yangon headquarters in Bahan Township.

Following their arrests, junta forces have been searching for other members of the NLD’s central committee for youth affairs in Yangon, according to members of the NLD.

Daw Ni Ni May Myint and Daw Chit Chit Chaw were previously arrested by the Arakan Army (AA) in Taungup Township, Rakhine State in October last year while they were campaigning ahead of the November 2020 general election

After talks between the AA and the Myanmar military, the two women were released by the AA in January, along with another detained lawmaker U Min Aung. The three were then flown to the Rakhine State capital Sittwe by military helicopter

But all three lost their parliamentary seats in the November election as they were detained for most of the election campaign and its immediate aftermath.

“They were defeated in the election because they were being held by the AA. Although they are not involved in the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw [a committee made up of ousted lawmakers opposing the junta], they are friends with its members. Their arrests may be for that reason,” a friend of Daw Ni Ni May Myint said.

More than 200 NLD members, including State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint and all of the party’s Central Executive Committee have been detained by the junta since their Feb. 1 coup.

A number of NLD members are believed to have been tortured to death by junta forces during their interrogations. Many other NLD members are in hiding from the military regime.

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