Aung Htein | DMG
2 October 2020, Sittwe
Two men from Theintan village in Sittwe Township, Arakan State, were detained by the Tatmadaw on October 1, family members of the arrestees said.
A 50-strong military contingent from Sittwe-based Light Infantry Battalion No. 353 reportedly entered Theintan village and arrested U Kyaw Maung and U Win Htay, both 44 years old, and took them away for questioning, said U Ye Thein Aung, an uncle of U Kyaw Maung.
“Family members are concerned for their safety. We don’t know exactly where they are being detained,” he said.
The two men earn their living by farming and have no links to any armed organisations, family members say.
U Aung Sit Min, a lawyer from the Arakan Bar Council, said: “It is unconstitutional to make such arbitrary arrests without access to family members. The arrestees have lost their rights as citizens. We strongly condemn arbitrary arrests by the Tatmadaw without access to family members.”
DMG efforts to reach Maj-Gen Zaw Min Tun of the Tatmadaw True News Information Team for comment were unsuccessful.
The number of people arrested by the Myanmar army on suspicion of having ties to the Arakan Army has been on the rise over the past two years as conflict between the military and the ethnic armed group has persisted in Arakan State.
At least 40 people in Arakan State were arrested on suspicion of Arakan Army links in the three months from July to September of this year, according to a tally by DMG.