Myo Thiri Kyaw | DMG
24 September, Kyuktaw
Eleven people arrested by the military this week in Kyauktaw Township, Arakan State, were freed on the morning of September 24, according to locals.
Among the released detainees, nine are from Thayettapin village and two are from another village, said U Maung Nyunt, a village clerk from Thayettapin.
“The army informed the town elders to sign pledges for them,” he said. “I am glad to hear of the detainees’ release.”
A Tatmadaw column entered Thayettapin village on September 23 and arrested some 20 villagers. The detainees were held in military custody inside the compound of a rural health clinic in the village.
Nine were released that evening, with the military taking the rest to a base of Light Infantry Battalion No. 376 near Daungtawyoe village, about 1 mile from Thayettapin village, according to those held in custody overnight.
“The army asked me whether I had a link with the Arakan Army. They [soldiers] punched me in the face,” said a detainee who asked for anonymity. “My entire face swelled up. I did not eat a meal or drink water yesterday.”
Among the 11 people released on September 24, some reported injuries to their faces and legs, allegedly due to beatings at the hands of Myanmar soldiers. They refused to describe their ordeal in detail as they feared they might be rearrested.
Many Thayettapin residents reportedly fled to safer locations for fear of also being detained by the Tatmadaw.
The number of civilians arrested over suspected links to the Arakan Army has continued to rise as have civilian casualties amid ongoing hostilities between the military and the ethnic armed group in Arakan State.