Myanmar Junta Steps Up Arrests of Striking Civil Servants

By The Irrawaddy 6 September 2021

Myanmar’s regime has intensified arrests of striking civil servants, including teachers, medics and administrators, who joined the civil disobedience movement (CDM) as it undermines the junta’s ability to govern.

At least two teachers in Myaung Township, Sagaing Region, were detained on Sunday.

According to residents, junta forces raided Daw Zarchi Lin’s home on Sunday and, after failing to find the teacher, her father and brother were beaten and taken instead.

She later turned herself in in exchange for the release of her father and brother.

Another teacher, Daw Tu Tu Khin, was detained on Sunday, according to the Civilian Defense and Security Organization in Myaung.

At least seven teachers were also detained in Kalay, Depayin and Shwebo townships in Sagaing Region last month.

In Pauk Township, Magwe Region, junta forces detained a striking civil servant from the Land Statistics Department and at least four other civilians on Sunday.

Since the February I coup, government employees, including directors, police, soldiers and staff at the military-controlled home affairs and defense ministries, have refused to work for the regime, preventing the junta from running the country properly. Many striking civil servants have been sacked or threatened with arrest. Many are in hiding.

During last month alone, at least 21 civil servants, including eight teachers, five medics, five administrators, two public servants and a police officer, were arrested, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

The National Unity Government (NUG), which was formed by elected lawmakers from the ousted National League for Democracy and its ethnic allies, is trying to pay salaries for striking civil servants, especially junior staff.

Over 400,000 civil servants have been on strike since February, according to the NUG.

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