Five Rakhine Villagers Still Being Held By Army

By Network Media Group
Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Five people that were arrested after the Burma Army reportedly shelled their village in northern Rakhine State are still being detained.

The Army arrested 38 villagers about 10 days after it reportedly shelled Kyauk Seik. The following day everyone was released except for the 5 villagers.

Khin Maung Latt, a parliamentarian for Ponnagyun township, told NMG the detainees were held at the Army’s LIB-550 detention camp and later transferred to Ponnagyun police station. The last he heard the Army sent them to Sittwe on a police boat.

Khine Myo Tun, a human rights activist from Sittwe, said the Army didn’t send them to the Sittwe police station. “I already inquired with the station. The villagers are still being detained in the Army’s camp.” He said the village headman said the Army beat them and the others during interrogation.

Family members of the detainees, confused about their whereabouts, are growing concerned about what’s happened to their loved ones.

Khin Maung Latt told NMG many villagers that have been arrested by the Army in Rakhine State have disappeared. He explained no one knows where they are–even the police–until they finally show up for court.

Khin Maung Latt heard the villagers have already been charged with violating article 50/J and 52/a of the anti-terrorist law for having links with the Arakan Army (AA).

On April 13, locals say the Burma Army killed eight people and injured eight when it attacked Kyauk Seik with artillery fire.

After bloody photos and videos were shared on social media, the Army denied responsibility for the attack and said that instigators were intentionally creating misinformation.

Human rights organizations say both the Burma Army and AA have committed abuses against civilians during clashes in Rakhine State.

The five villagers that are being detained are Maung Chay, 27, Myo Min Aung, 26, Ko Nyi Nyi Aung, 24, Kyaw Win Hein, 22 and Ko Myo Lin Oo, 24.