Two Arrested With Rakhine Charity Leader Remain in Myanmar Junta’s Custody

By The Irrawaddy 26 May 2023

Two people who were arrested along with Rakhine writer-turned charity leader Wai Hun Aung remain in detention over suspected links with “outlawed” news outlets, despite earlier media reports of their release.

The junta arrested Wai Hun Aung, his daughter, a staff member, and two other people from Yangon accompanying them on Tuesday evening while they were traveling from the Rakhine capital Sittwe to Ponnagyun Township to deliver relief supplies to communities affected by Cyclone Mocha.

On Wednesday afternoon, the junta released Wai Hun Aung, his daughter and the staff member. Earlier, media were told that all five had been released, but The Irrawaddy learned on Friday that the two people the junta claims have links with outlawed news outlets are still detained.

Regime spokesperson Major General Zaw Min Tun told Voice of America and BBC Burmese on Wednesday that regime officials detained the five for questioning, and that the two people from Yangon were found to have connections with news outlets the junta regards as illegal and will be detained for further interrogation.

The junta has not revealed the identities of the two detainees or the news organizations they allegedly have links with.

Since the 2021 coup, the military regime has banned at least six media outlets—The Irrawaddy, 7Day News, Myanmar Now, Mizzima, DVB and Khit Thit Media—by revoking their publishing licenses. All except 7Day News continue to operate and report on Myanmar, mostly from exile.