Mass night arrests in Lanmadaw

March 14th, 2023  •  Author:   Myanmar Witness  •  3 minute read
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Report Published: 14 Mar 2023

Mass detentions following the February 2021 coup (report series)

Key Event Details

  • Location of Incident: Lanmadaw township (လမ်းမတော်မြို့နယ်), Yangon (ရန်ကုန်မြို့) [16.777583, 96.138917]

  • Date/Time of Incident: 8 March 2021

  • Alleged Perpetrator(s) and/or Involvement: 

  • Lon Htein (specific unit not identified)

  • Myanmar military personnel (specific units not identified)

  • Summary of Investigation:

  • At approximately 2300 on 8 March, activists in Lanmadaw seized two vehicles that were part of a convoy they believed to be undercover military. The two vehicles – a car and a lorry carrying a bulldozer – were found to contain several guns and military clothing.

  • A few hours after the incident, footage verified by Myanmar Witness shows men in police and military fatigues returning to the area; they go from building to building and detain at least 13, and possibly as many as 30 men.

  • Myanmar Witness has verified 15 separate videos and images and has reconstructed the sequence of events that occurred in Lanmadaw.

  • It is not known what happened to the men after they were detained.

Executive Summary

Following the 1 February 2021 Coup, Myanmar’s State Administration Council (SAC) has stripped away due process and fair trial rights to detain thousands of protestors, activists and human rights defenders. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported that the vast majority of these deprivations of liberty were carried out without respect for the rule of law or in accordance with international human rights standards, therefore constituting arbitrary and unlawful detention.

This series of case studies documents four separate incidents in Yankin, Tamwe, North Okkalapa and Lanmadaw in late February and early March 2021. Three of the reports cover mass detentions of protestors, while the other examines a case of mass detention of community members, following an incident involving alleged undercover military officers in the same area.

This report covers the mass arrests of people in Lanmadaw during the early hours of 9 March 2021. The police raided the area after local people detained five men whom they believed to be undercover military. The two vehicles which the activists apprehended – a car and a lorry carrying a bulldozer – were found to contain several guns and military uniforms Myanmar Witness has identified as belonging to the Myanmar military’s Engineers Corp. A few hours after the incident, footage verified by Myanmar Witness shows men in police and military fatigues returning to the area; they go from building to building and detain at least 13, and possibly as many as 30 men.  

These examples of mass detentions are being released to mark two years passing since their occurrence; however, they are by no means exhaustive. Myanmar Witness continues to monitor the deprivation of civilian liberties.  


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