Burma

Myanmar’s Junta Seizes More Than 547 Properties of Anti-Regime Activists 

By The Irrawaddy 5 April 2022

Myanmar’s junta has seized more than 547 houses and other properties belonging to anti-regime activists since the February 2021 coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

The activist group reported on Monday that the junta significantly stepped up its seizures of properties owned by parliamentarians, National League for Democracy (NLD) members and those with alleged connections to the civilian National Unity Government (NUG), its parliamentary committee and armed wing the People’s Defense Force, following the NUG’s declaration of war against the regime last September.

Civilians facing arrest warrants and political prisoners have also had properties seized, the AAPP said.

It said more than 90 percent of property seizures have taken place since the declaration of war.

The resistance stronghold of Sagaing Region saw the most seizures with 139, followed by Yangon with 124 and Mandalay with 70.

The AAPP’s report said the seizures were carried out before the accused were found guilty in court and had their property confiscated, meaning they fully disregarded the law.

Relatives of activists have not been spared, to apparently instigate fear and intimidate opponents.

One victim was Daw Khin Win, the mother-in-law of U Moe Ma Khaa, an NLD regional lawmaker for Taungoo Township, who has been on the run since the coup.

Daw Khin Win was made homeless by the junta on Feb. 12 and the turmoil led to her death. Her funeral could not be held at the family home, which was sealed off, and the procession was conducted on the street.

The NUG’s foreign minister Daw Zin Mar Aung told The Irrawaddy last month that the seizures showed the regime was desperate.

“It is a sign that it is suffering. Since the start, we have expected this,” she said, adding that deeper repression would only create stronger resistance.

The AAPP said the punishment of individuals not responsible for any alleged wrongdoing is prohibited under international rules for armed conflict.

The group urged the international community, including the United Nations, to support people’s efforts to put the junta on trial for its atrocities.

The NUG last month called for all property seizures and the details of those responsible to be reported to its Ministry of Home Affairs.

“Everyone involved in such illegal activity shall be held accountable,” the NUG said.

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