Myanmar’s military regime has announced five charges against a detained veteran student activist—including high treason and violating the counter-terrorism law—for allegedly masterminding a campaign of guerrilla warfare against the junta in the country’s biggest city, Yangon.
U Kyaw Min Yu, a member of the ’88 Generation Students Group and popularly known as Ko Jimmy, was arrested late last month when regime soldiers raided his hideout in northern Yangon. He was seriously injured during the arrest.
Regime mouthpiece Myawady TV did not announce the arrest until Sunday night, about two weeks after it happened, showing Ko Jimmy with his hands tied behind his back and kneeling before a haul of seized firearms and ammunitions.
It said he will be charged with high treason; violating the Counter-Terrorism Law; violating the Unlawful Association Act; violating the Arms Act and Explosive Substances Act; and incitement. If found guilty, the veteran student leader faces at least 30 years’ imprisonment. He could face the death penalty, as Myanmar’s terrorism law allows the death sentence in some cases.
In its announcement, the junta said Ko Jimmy was the political and security adviser of the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) and the shadow National Unity Government (NUG). The CRPH was formed by elected lawmakers from Myanmar’s formerly ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) in the wake of the February military coup, and the NUG is its offshoot. The regime has branded both as terrorist organizations.
The junta said Ko Jimmy was the leader of Operation Moonlight, under which eight “huge” missions were to be carried out in Yangon in the wake of the NUG’s nationwide call on Sept. 7 to revolt against the regime. Since the NUG’s war declaration, Myanmar has seen growing armed resistance against the regime across the country, causing serious casualties to the junta. Yangon has been no exception with deadly hit-and-run attacks on regime soldiers.
The Sunday statement said Operation Moonlight had completed three missions as of last month in Twantay, Insein and Hlegu townships.
“The remaining Mission 4, Mission 5, Mission 6, Mission 7 and Mission 8 were planned to be conducted in Yinkin, Mingaladon, Dala, Thakayta, Dagon Myothit (South) and Hlinethaya townships,” it said.
In collaboration with other resistance groups in the city, the regime said, those involved in the operation had launched separate attacks in Yangon since May, targeting schools, killing administrators and regime collaborators, and attacking state-owned buildings and private banks.
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