Over 120 Myanmar Lawmakers Arrested by Regime Since Coup 

By The Irrawaddy 20 May 2023

More than 120 elected members of Myanmar’s parliament were arrested by the military regime following the 2021 coup, and 16 have lost their lives in prison or while in hiding, said the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH).

The coup came early in the morning when victorious candidates in the 2020 general election — the results of which were annulled by the junta after the coup — were preparing for the opening of the new parliamentary session,

But instead of taking their parliamentary seats, the elected MPs found themselves in custody or in hiding and in revolt against the junta, which ignored the wishes of millions of voters.

In a statement released on Friday, the CRPH, a parliamentary committee formed by a group of lawmakers elected to the coup-dissolved Parliament, said that as of Friday, 41 Union parliament lawmakers and 87 regional lawmakers had been arrested. At least 88 of them are still being detained.

Almost all the detained lawmakers are from the National League for Democracy (NLD) Party, which won the 2020 election in a landslide,

The regime has systematically targeted NLD lawmakers and members, as it tried to destroy the party of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi through arrests, violence and legal persecution, while NLD offices have been raided, vandalized and forced to close.

The CRPH said that among those detained, elected NLD lawmaker U Nyunt Shwe, who was also a chair of the party’s Bago Township office, died of COVID-19 in August 2021 while detained due to a lack of adequate medical care in prison.

NLD lawmaker U Kyaw Myo Min, who was also a chair of the party’s Bilin Township office in Mon State, was tortured to death in detention by regime troops in July last year.

On Wednesday, U Myint San, who was agriculture minister in Tanintharyi Region under the NLD government, died of cancer in exile in Thailand. He was also elected to the Tanintharyi parliament in 2020.

The CRPH said five elected lawmakers of the Union parliament and nine regional lawmakers died while in hiding because they were unable to receive adequate medical care.

The regime has also revoked the citizenship of elected NLD lawmakers U Yee Mon, Daw Zin Mar Aung, U Lwin Ko Latt and Daw Phyu Phyu Thin along with other prominent resistance figures.

U Yee Mon, Daw Zin Mar Aung and U Lwin Ko Latt all hold ministerial positions in the civilian National Unity Government.

The CRPH added that the right of arrested members of parliament to seek legal advice, the right to be heard before the public and other basic human rights, such as the right to receive family visits in prison, have largely been lost under the junta.

In addition, the regime has subjected detainees to torture, as well as holding relatives of MPs and lawmakers as hostages and seizing their houses and property.

“Through those acts, the junta has escalated its serious human rights violations against elected representatives,” said the CRPH.