Myanmar Army Arrested 7 Civilians; Families Worry They Will Be Tortured and Killed in Military Custody in Rakhine State, Myanmar

Body of San Shwe Hla, who was arrested by Mrauk U based LIB-377 and shot at his head and badly tortured and died during the military custody on August 7. His body was handed over to local charity on August 12. 

AN. Sittway. August 15, 2020.

Myanmar army arrested 3 civilians in Sittway and 4 villagers in Kyauktaw township in Rakhine State in this week.  

Three civilians, including a taxi driver, were arrested by Myanmar soldiers near Sittway on August 12. 

The arrested men are Maung Bu, 37, Kyaw Kyaw Win, 33, and Thar Zan, 30. 

They are residents of Sittway. They all were arrested at Kyauktan military checkpoint, about one and half miles away from the state capital at 2 pm. 

Myanmar military released a statement on August 13 and said 3 members of Arakan Army were arrested at the checkpoint with illicit drugs, and a pair of AA uniform, and record of conversation with AA on the phone. 

Families denied the accusation and said his son is a taxi driver and went to another village to pick up passengers when he got arrested. 

U Ba Than, father of detained Kyaw Kyaw Win, said, “My son is not member of AA; he does not do anything with the drug. He is a taxi driver. He is innocent. I want my son freedom.”

“I went to the police station in Sittway and asked the police officer where my son was detaining. He said my son was taken to the military base for further investigation,” he said. 

The father worried his son would be tortured in the military base.

Local residents reported Myanmar army arrested 4 villagers in Kyauk Ta Lone village in Kyauktaw township at 11.30 am on August 14. 

The arrested men are about 40 years old Than Aung Kyaw, Hla Hla Maung, Aung Khine Hla, and Maung Aye Kyaw. 

Ma San Thar, Aung Khine Hla’s wife, said men always try to hide out when the Myanmar military column enters in the village. 

“When my husband went out of the village for hiding, the soldiers stationing near the school arrested my husband. I worry the soldiers will kill my husband,” she said. 

She said the soldiers are detaining her husband and 3 more villagers in a Buddhist temple. 

Myanmar army usually arrest male villagers most of the time when they are encountered in the village and get arrested. Local human rights organizations reported 20 villagers were tortured and killed in the military custody after they were arrested by the government army.

San Shwe Haling, resident of Sanbo Kine village, was arrested and taken to Mrauk U based Light Infantry Battalion 377 on August 7. He was shot at his head and wounded in his body by torturing and died in the military base. His body was handed over to a charity organization on August 12.  

A local human rights documentation institute—Arakan Information Center (AIC) reports until July 2020, Myanmar army has killed 285 civilians, injured 570, and arrested 606 villagers since the military has been launching offensive operations in Rakhine State and Paletwa township in Chin State in January 2019. 

AIC reports it has recorded 45 villagers have been disappeared, and 233,451 civilians have been displaced until July 2020. 

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