Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

UnpluggedTV

World

Families of inmates seek answers a year after Myanmar’s military coup

Wai Soe Hlaing, 31, is seen in this undated photo supplied to Reuters on January 28, 2022. His family said he was detained in April 2021 but they were unable to trace his location. Handout via REUTERS

Win Hlaing, 66, says he only wants to know if his son is alive over a year after he was last spotted being taken away by Myanmar junta troops.

The backstory: Last April, a neighbour called to inform him that his son, Wai Soe Hlaing, a young father who managed a phone shop in Yangon, had been arrested in connection with protests against the military coup on February 1.

  • According to Win Hlaing and The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a non-profit that has been chronicling arrests and killings, they tracked the 31-year-old to a local police station.
  • The trail then became icy. He was no longer there.
  • The junta’s spokesman did not respond to emailed demands for comment and did not pick up the phone.
  • Wai Soe Hlaing is one of many persons who activists and relatives claim have vanished since Myanmar was thrown into chaos when the military deposed Aung San Suu Kyi’s democratic administration.
Aung Nay Myo, a protest organizer and satirical writer from Myanmar, poses for a photograph at a temporary shelter at an undisclosed location in a town in a country bordering Myanmar, January 27, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer
Aung Nay Myo, a protest organizer and satirical writer from Myanmar, drinks tea as he looks at a photo of his father on his phone inside a temporary shelter at an undisclosed location in a town in a country bordering Myanmar, January 27, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer

Facts and figures: According to the AAPP, over 8,000 individuals are incarcerated in prisons and interrogation centres, including Suu Kyi and the majority of her cabinet, and about 1,500 people have been slain. The data from the AAPP could not be independently verified by Reuters.

  • Hundreds of people are said to have died as a result of being held. The figures are overstated, according to the junta, and the AAPP disseminate incorrect information.
  • The number of those detained by the junta has not been revealed.
  • Families laboriously search for their relatives by calling and visiting police stations and prisons, or relying on accounts from local media or human rights organisations, because the military does not notify relatives when a person is arrested, and prison officials often do not do so when they arrive in jail.
  • According to a Human Rights Watch research, they sometimes send food boxes and consider it as an indication that their relative is being kept there if the delivery is accepted.
  • In many cases, according to AAPP co-founder Bo Kyi, the organisation has been able to determine who has been held but not where they have been detained.
Aung Nay Myo, a protest organizer and satirical writer from Myanmar, dries his clothes at a temporary shelter at an undisclosed location in a town in a country bordering Myanmar, January 27, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer

What they’re saying: The chair of the United Nations’ working group on enforced disappearances, Tae-Ung Baik, said that the committee had received allegations of enforced disappearances from families in Myanmar since February and was “extremely worried” by the situation.

  • Aung Nay Myo, a 43-year-old activist who escaped the northeastern Sagaing district, said junta troops abducted his parents and siblings from their house in mid-December and he has no idea where they are.
  • They were held, he says, because of his job as a sarcastic writer. His 74-year-old father, who has been incapacitated by a stroke, is one of them.
  • “There is nothing I can do but worry every moment,” Aung Nay Myo said.
  • Two police stations in Monywa, their hometown in the Sagaing area, did not respond to requests for comment.
Aung Nay Myo, a protest organizer and satirical writer from Myanmar, drinks tea as he looks at a photo of his father on his phone inside a temporary shelter at an undisclosed location in a town in a country bordering Myanmar, January 27, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer

What’s going on: According to the United Nations, resistance to the junta has spiralled into bloodshed in some areas, displacing tens of thousands of people across the country. Thousands of people have fled to Thailand and India.

  • At least 50 people are missing in northeastern Kayah state, where fighting has been fierce, according to Banyar Khun Naung, director of the non-profit Karenni Human Rights Group.
  • The group is attempting to assist families in their search by asking recently released prisoners if they recognised any names.
  • Pascalal, Myint Aung’s 17-year-old son, went missing in September, according to Myint Aung, who is now in his mid-50s and lives in a camp for internally displaced people in Kayah.
  • Myint Aung claimed the boy told his father he was going to check on the situation at their home in the state capital of Loikaw, but he never returned.
  • Instead, he was apprehended by security forces, Myint Aung said over the phone, citing information from nearby people. When he went to deliver meals to the station, he discovered soldiers guarding the area and fled.
  • Myint Aung hasn’t heard from his son since then, but according to the rights group, he’s no longer in the police station, citing conversations with numerous recently liberated people.
  • The teenager was one of two young men pictured making the “Hunger Games” salute adopted by protesters as they were detained kneeling by the side of a road, lashed together with rope by a soldier, in an image widely circulated on social media, according to Banyar Khun Naung, director of the Karenni rights group. Pascalal was confirmed by his sister over the phone.
  • “While we let them do what they want before we put bullets in their heads,” said the description on a viral post from an account that purported to belong to a high-ranking soldier. The account was then deactivated.
  • “He’s an underage civilian boy and he didn’t do anything wrong,” his father Myint Aung said.
  • Police in Loikaw did not answer phone calls seeking comment.
  • In Yangon, the family of Wai Soe Hlaing tell his four-year-old daughter her father is working somewhere far away.  Sometimes, Win Hlaing said, she murmurs about him: “My papa has been gone too long.”
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Advertisement

Latest

India

New Delhi, Sept 29- According to data updated on Thursday by the Union Health Ministry, 4,272 new instances of infections have been registered throughout...

India

J&K, Sept 29 – Two people were injured in two bombs that occurred within eight hours in the Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir...

India

Karnataka, Sept 28 – The Narcotics Wing of the Central Crime Branch (CCB) broke an inter-state narcotics conspiracy on Tuesday, arresting five people-four women...

India

New Delhi, Sept 28- India observed a modest increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country, reporting 3,615 instances on Wednesday. The...

India

New Delhi, Sept 28- Considering the decline in the number of theaters in India and to prevent its complete closure, the Ministry of Information...

India

New Delhi, Sept 28– The Popular Front of India (PFI) and any of its affiliates, allies, or fronts have been declared illegal associations by...

You May Also Like

States

The structure will be built for a Public Health Centre (PHC), which will be the sole government health facility near the crash site. The...

Entertainment

It appears that Twitter is full of like-minded people who have had similar ideas regarding marriage, particularly arranged marriage. And they’ve developed a hilarious...

World

Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella’s son Zain Nadella, died Monday morning.  The news: Zain was 26 years old and had been born...

commentary

According to a tweet from the UK Ministry of Defence, the Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed the use of its TOS-1A weapon system in...