Mawlawmyine, 21 December
The military regime has hunted down those linked to the members of the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) and arrested them for various reasons in Mon State, raising concerns among the residents.
On November 30, U Mya Than, a PDF member in Thanbyuzayet Township, was apprehended with a pistol, and the junta then hunted down more people suspected of being related to PDFs.
The junta army arrested at least 60 local people, including people associated with PDFs, informants, support, and businessmen, in Thanbyuzayet in December and sent them to interrogation centers for questioning.
Among them, PDF members U Mya Than and Ko Min Min were tortured to death at Wekali interrogation center in Thanbyuzayet, and the military council didn’t return the bodies to their families.
According to military sources, the military council is attempting to arrest more people associated with the PDFs in Mon State using information obtained from U Mya Than and Ko Min Min’s phones.
A resident, who did not wish to be named, told Than Lwin Times that the military council is currently searching day and night for people related to PDFs in Thanbyuzayet Township and arresting them. Some fled their homes, and most of them live in fear of when they will be arrested.
U Aung Ko Ko, a deputy staff officer at the General Administration Department of Thanbyuzayet Township, has been charged under the Terrorism Act, which carries a life sentence for allegedly sending information to PDFs.
The military council extorted hundreds of thousands of kyats each from the detainees and threatened to kill some of those who were released if they said anything about the Wakeli interrogation center.
According to a Mawlamyine resident, the military council arrested some people and extorted a large sum of money to release them, but some arrestees have disappeared.
According to information obtained by Than Lwin Times in December, at least 80 local residents from Thanbyuzayet, Mawlamyine, Thaton, Paung, Ye, Kyaikto and Belin townships have been arrested, and some of them civilians have been accused of being supporters of terrorism for writing comments on social media.
Daw Chaw Su Su Htwe, the chairman of Shin Than Chin Twe Lat (Living Hands) based in Thaton Township, was arrested after writing a comment under the post of a PDF member who worked with a charity organization in the past, saying, “Let’s meet again as soon as possible”.
At least 800 civilians were arrested in Mon State, and most of them were sentenced to prisons, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
News-Than Lwin Times
Photo- (Junta soldiers and policemen were arresting locals in Mon State’s Mawlamyine during coup)