Whereabouts of woman arrested in lieu of her NLD-affiliated husband remain unknown

April 20th, 2022  •  Author:   Daw Soe Soe (Maha Aungmye Township)  •  3 minute read
Featured image

Ko Ko Lay and Soe Soe (Supplied)

Junta forces detained the 50-year-old from her Mandalay home when they were unable to locate her husband, a local NLD party official

By Myanmar Now

A 50-year-old woman who was abducted by junta troops from her home more than 10 days ago is being held in an undisclosed location after the military was unable to locate and arrest her husband—the vice chair of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party—in Mandalay District.

Junta forces reportedly came looking for Ko Ko Lay at his house in Maharnwe ward in Maha Aungmyay Township on April 9. When they could not find him, they instead detained his wife, Soe Soe, according to a family friend.

“We are still asking around about her whereabouts. We can’t quite contact her family either since they’re on the run,” said the friend, who maintained that Soe Soe is “just a regular civilian.”

On Monday evening, the friend said that three more people from the couple’s neighbourhood were taken into junta custody, including a woman who works as a betel nut vendor and two other local men.

Their location also remains unknown.

Mandalay’s Obo Prison and the military’s interrogation centre located inside Mandalay Palace have become notorious for the brutal acts of torture alleged to have taken place there.

Several occasions have been documented where those arrested in Mandalay have died in junta custody and the families of the victims were not allowed to see their bodies.

The military has also sealed off houses belonging to those suspected of opposing the coup regime, and family members taken hostage and handed criminal charges in lieu of the individuals targeted for arrest.

Myanmar Now was unable to contact Soe Soe’s family regarding the incident or to obtain comment from the military council.

Junta statements rarely if ever include details concerning the arrests of family members of their opponents.

Kyaw Htwe, a member of the central executive committee of the NLD—whose elected administration was ousted in the February 2021 military coup—confirmed that more than 600 party members and leaders had been arrested and charged since that time.

At the time of reporting, it was not clear if the International Committee for the Red Cross, which has been known to facilitate communication between political prisoners and their families, has been approved to intervene in such procedures in Myanmar prisons in the post-coup period.

The organisation announced publicly that family members of the prisoners could report such arrests to them for documentation purposes.

Burmese version.

Original Post: Myanmar Now