Myanmar Seizes Around 150 Civilians in 10 Days

By The Irrawaddy 25 August 2021

Myanmar’s junta detained around 150 civilians, including young activists, elected National League for Democracy (NLD) lawmakers and striking civil servants, over 10 days this month as it continues its crackdown on the opposition.

According to a report by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which monitors fatalities and detentions since the coup, at least 143 people were detained between August 14 to 24.

Among those detained are 15 NLD members, including those who won parliamentary seats in the 2020 general election, the results of which the junta annulled; four teachers who joined the civil disobedience movement (CDM) against the regime in Kalay Township, Sagaing Region, a striking teacher who joined the CDM in Yangon Region, dozens of young activists and relatives of civilians in hiding.

An elected lawmaker for Mingaladon Township in Yangon Region Daw Khin Myat Thu was detained with her husband on August 23 at a hideout. Five other NLD members were also detained in Yangon before the MP’s abduction.

Detained NLD lawmaker Daw Khin Myat Thu.

U Htay Win, MP for Tilin Township in Magwe Region, was also detained on August 22. On the same day, Ko Kyaw San Htoo, an Aunglan Township executive committee member, who is reportedly sick, was also seized at his home.

Detained NLD executive member Ko Kyaw San Htoo from Aunglan Township, Magwe Region.

Ko Kyaw Soe Win, another Aunglan Township executive committee member, was also detained.

NLD supporter Aung Myo Thant in Taungdwingyi Township, Magwe Region, was beaten and detained by junta troops at his home along with his wife, son and daughter on August 17.

Despite international condemnation of the collective punishment of taking the relatives of those facing arrest warrants, the junta continues to arrest the families of activists.

On Wednesday, the junta detained the wife and son of Yangon’s former social affairs minister U Naign Ngan Lin when they brought supplies to him in Insein Prison, Mizzima News reported.

Over 10 days, the junta has seized at least 24 relatives when they failed to find the targeted individuals, including NLD members, pro-democracy activists and striking civil servants, according to the AAPP.

On August 18, the wife, child and younger brother of U Win Myint Aung, an MP and NLD member in Sai Pyin village, were detained after troops failed to find him at his home.

On the same day in Sai Pyin village, Depayin Township, Sagaing Region, the brother, nephew and a female relative of NLD member U Moe Min Win were detained after troops failed to him, the activist group said.

The AAPP reported the detention of the father, mother, wife, and two daughters of a police sergeant from Yinmabin Township who joined the CDM and took weapons from a police station.

Tun Win in Muse, Shan State, who contracted COVID-19, was detained at his home by junta troops after they did not find his son.

Young people and other residents were seized during night raids in Yangon and Mandalay regions.

While the exact number of detainees cannot be independently verified, around 12 young people were reportedly detained per day.

In Mandalay, a philanthropic group supplying food and oxygen, said four of its members were detained on Tuesday night for helping those in need at night.

Three young people were also reportedly detained in Thaketa Township on Tuesday evening. Residents said junta troops opened fire in their neighborhood during their raid. It was alleged that one detained youngster was shot and badly injured.

Junta soldiers detained young people during a night raid on August 18 in Sanchaung Township in Yangon on August 18.

On Monday, five people, including a couple who owned a noodle shop, were detained during a night raid in Sanchaung Township in Yangon.

Residents said troops had a list of suspected People Defense Forces volunteers and those with alleged connections with the shadow National Unity Government.

A private teacher Ko Soe Paing, also known as Kyaw Khaing Win, who participated in anti-regime protests, was also detained in Thaketa Township, Yangon Region, by soldiers on Sunday. He died overnight in detention and his family was asked to collect his body on Monday, according to his former teacher. Details of the death are unknown.

According to the AAPP, the junta has detained more than 7,470 people since the Feb. 1 coup, of which 5,851 were still behind bars. Around 2,000 civilians still face arrest warrants.

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