Burma

Myanmar Regime Detains Family of NLD Fugitive, Including Three Children

By The Irrawaddy 6 April 2021

Myanmar’s security forces have detained the family of a Bago Region National League for Democracy (NLD) information officer, including three young children, after failing to arrest him.

Ko Ja Lay is in hiding after he was charged under Article 25 of the Disaster Management Law in February for allegedly interacting with a crowd during the coronavirus pandemic. Following the coup, he led anti-regime protests in Thayawady Township, Bago Region. The military has since pressured his family, demanding he hand himself in to the police.

A relative said Ko Ja Lay’s four-year-old daughter, two-year-old niece and 13-year-old brother-in-law were abducted by the security forces for more than 13 hours.

“His wife is already in hiding to avoid the security forces who kept asking about his whereabouts. She had to leave her daughter with her family. We were detained by the military while we were taking their daughter to her mother,” she said.

“We were taken to a police station and then an army camp. The children were frightened. They kept asking where Ko Ja Lay was. They released us when they realized we knew nothing about Ko Ja Lay,” she added.

“Their daughter is already traumatized about being separated from her parents. I am worried that she might suffer more trauma after being seized,” she said.

Relatives of NLD members, protest leaders and civil servants who joined the civil disobedience movement have been seized by the security forces to force suspects to turn themselves in.

In Mawlamyine Township, Mon State, two adult sons of a university academic, who was refusing to work under the military regime, have been detained for nearly two weeks after the authorities were unable to arrest him.

 

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