Burma Army Carries Out a Series of Arrests of Rakhine State Civilians

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Civilians have repeatedly been placed under arrest by Burma Army troops in Rakhine State’s Kyauktaw and Kyaukphyu townships in recent days, according to local sources.

Most recently, three men from Kap Thapyay village in Kyaukphyu were taken into military custody on August 15 after all the villagers were forced to gather for what they thought was a meeting.

“A military column arrived at our village and arrested three villagers at around 4:00 a.m.,” a family member of one of the men told NMG. “Soldiers called on all of the villagers to gather in the monastery. Then they called the names of villagers. Then they arrested three villagers for interrogation. They took [them] away by car.”

Seven more Kap Thapyay villagers were arrested by Burma Army troops on June 26, and have since been charged with violating the Anti-Terrorism Law.

One day before the most recent arrests in Kap Thapyay, a military column arrested four villagers in Kyauk Talon in Kyauktaw.

“Soldiers arrived in the village at around 10:00 a.m. Nearly 40 soldiers entered into village and rested in the school. Then the soldiers searched every house. They investigated every house,” a local told NMG on the condition of anonymity. “After that, the soldiers arrested four villagers. I don’t know what has happened to them. We haven’t had communication with them. We don’t know where the soldiers took them. We already reported it to the parliamentarians.”

On August 17, the Burma Army’s True News Information Team reported that their soldiers had blocked all roads into Kap Thapyay village on the morning of August 14, and had arrested three men who they alleged worked for the “AA [Arakan Army] terrorist group.”

All of the men’s ages were between 40 and 48, and they were named, along with the names of their sons.

Burma Army soldiers arrested a villager in Taw Pan Sin in Kyauktaw on August 9, as well, also later labeled an “AA terrorist” by the military’s information team.

Family members and respective village headmen have maintained that these villagers do not have ties to the AA.