Myanmar Activist Says His Daughter is Dying in Prison

July 5th, 2021  •  Author:   Ma Theint Sandi Soe (Mogoke)  •  3 minute read
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Ma Theint Sandi Soe. / Supplied


Ma Theint Sandi Soe, a student who was detained instead of her father who is on the regime’s wanted list in Mogoke, is said to be in deteriorating health while her family is denied visits.

The third-year law student was detained with her mother, Daw Kyi Kyi Khaing, and younger sister, Su Htet Wyne, on June 13 after the security forces failed to find her father, Ko Soe Htay, a leader of anti-regime protests in the Mandalay Region town.

A warrant was issued for Ko Soe Htay on an incitement charge for organizing protests. He and his two sons were not at home as they had gone into hiding.

Ko Soe Htay said Ma Theint Sandi Soe has rheumatoid arthritis and thus has sensitivity to cold temperatures and needs regular medical care and medicines.

“I heard she was handcuffed and forced to kneel on a concrete floor for hours during interrogation,” he said. “I don’t know the details but heard that my daughter’s health condition is becoming life-threatening.”

The three were not allowed to take anything with them into custody and her relatives have not been allowed to send food, clothes and medicines.

“As a father, I am worried for my daughter. But several families are suffering like us and some have suffered more. To end all of this suffering, we must topple this dictatorship,” Ko Soe Htay told The Irrawaddy.

The regime is increasingly detaining the relatives and friends of those in hiding.

Ko Soe Htay’s wife and daughters are among around 100 people who have been detained after the security forces failed to find their target. Protesters, student union members, National League for Democracy members, journalists and striking civil servants all face arrest warrants, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

Even babies have not been spared.

Ko Soe Htay’s youngest daughter, Su Htet Wyne, had her fifth birthday in custody and was released on June 30, when the regime freed around 2,000 detainees.

Su Htet Wyne at her birthday last year (left). At right, Su Htet Wyne holds a poster with a picture of detained State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at an anti-coup protest in Mogoke. / Soe Htay / Facebook

Ko Soe Htay said his daughter is traumatized by her arrest. They moved into a new hiding place the next day to avoid the junta forces.

“She told me she was hungry in custody and had to bathe in toilet water. And she hates those who ordered them to sit in the prison position,” he said.

Since the Feb. 1 coup, at least 890 civilians have been killed by the regime’s forces and more than 6,400 people have been detained, according to the AAPP.

Original Post: The Irrawaddy