Eight Myaing villagers still in custody a month after their arrest

November 25th, 2021  •  Author:   Arbitrary Arrest by Military Coup (Myaing Township)  •  3 minute read
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A military vehicle is seen patrolling Mandalay in February (Myanmar Now)

Only half of the 16 people detained in the village of Pantinetaw on October 27 have been released, local sources said

By Myanmar Now

Eight residents of a village in Magway Region’s Myaing Township are still in regime custody nearly a month after their arrest, according to local resistance sources.

A military unit of around 30 soldiers raided Padaingdaw, a village in southern Myaing Township, on October 27 and rounded up 16 villagers, including a 3-year-old child.

Half of the detainees, including the child, were later released, but the others are still being held, a member of a resistance group operating in the area told Myanmar Now.

“Seven of the villagers were released, including two who were mentally handicapped. The three-year-old was sent back to his grandparents, but his mother is still being detained,” said Sit Naing of the Myaing Township Guerrilla Force.

The eight people still in custody include a soldier who deserted from the army to join the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) and his wife, as well as a student from the Sagaing Education University and an another child.

“I heard that they’re all still in Myaing Township, but that the CDM soldier was being held separately. His wife is also facing charges of being an accessory in his desertion,” said Sit Naing.

Five of the detainees who have already been released were reportedly forced to pay the military 300,000 kyat ($168) each, while the two who were identified as being developmentally delayed paid 50,000 kyat each.

According to Sit Naing, the captives were also forced to work at a brick-making factory while they were being held by Light Infantry Division 101 in Magway’s Pakokku Township.

“They made them bake 100,000 bricks in total. They had to carry the sand from the stream themselves to produce the bricks. They were brutally tortured as well,” he said, citing local residents.

Residents of Padaingdaw have held daily protests against Myanmar’s military junta since it seized power on February 1. They said that the soldiers who raided their village on October 27 also looted their homes and beat people living there.

Fighting between regime soldiers and resistance groups in areas of Sagaing and Magway regions bordering Chin State has intensified in recent weeks, according to locals.

Villagers have accused the military of killing civilians and torching their homes as part of an offensive aimed at crushing the armed resistance movement.

Junta information officers were unavailable for comment on the arrests in Pantinetaw, and the regime has not released any statements about its operations in the area.

Original Post: Myanmar Now