Some Of The Villagers Arrested By Army Released

By Network Media Group
Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Five people arrested in a village in Rakhine State that was reportedly shelled by the Burma Army with artillery are still being held at the Army’s LIB-550 detention camp.

On Sunday, the Burma Army arrested a total of 38 people from Kyauk Seik and released 33 the following day. Ko Khine Myo Tun, a human rights activist, said the village headman told him they were beaten during interrogation.

Nearly 10 days ago, the Burma Army attacked Kyauk Seik killing 8 people in the village, including a 9-year-old, Ko Khine Myo Tun said. At the time of the attack, there wasn’t fighting with the Arakan Army (AA) happening in the area, he said.

The Army denied killing civilians after parliamentarians from Rakhine State shared bloody photos and videos of the injured and deceased from the airstrike on the internet.

The Arakan National Party (ANP) said last Friday that parliamentarians were threatened by the Burma Army for speaking out about the civil war in Rakhine State.

Parliamentarian Khin Maung Latt said the government needs to stop the Army’s offensives and start providing humanitarian assistance to villagers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Shells land in a village killing 8 people and injuring 13 more and about a week later soldiers arrest nearly 40 people from the same village? This is ridiculous and it shouldn’t have happened,” he said, calling on the government to immediately open an investigation into the attack.

During the conflict, Khin Maung Latt told NMG civilians in Rakhine State live in a perpetual state of fear of both the Burma Army and AA. Many civilians are terrified to work on their farms because of the many landmines planted in the area, he said. The Burma Army has restricted travel in the region.

Fighting in Rakhine State has intensified in the last month, accounting for many civilian injuries and casualties. Human rights organizations accuse both the Burma Army and AA of committing abuses on civilians during clashes in Rakhine State and Paletwa township in southern Chin State.