Tatmadaw Arrests Over 1,000 Civilians in Rakhine State

By Network Media Group
Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The Tatmadaw detained over a thousand civilians from Rakhine State in an area where there have been no reported clashes with the Arakan Army, according to residents.

Since the end of August, the Burma Army has been rounding up civilians from Thasi, Shwe Pyi Thit and Shwe Pyi villages, located in Thasi village-tract in Kyauktaw Township, and forcing them to stay in a monastery under their guard.

One villager, who escaped from Tatmadaw troops, told NMG that a military column of about 200 soldiers opened fire on Thasi on August 31, at about 3 p.m., while storming the village and detaining residents. “The soldiers beat the villagers and arrested everyone—men, women and children. They’re keeping everyone in Shwe Pyi monastery.”

The source said the son of a headman was badly beaten by marauding soldiers and in critical condition.

Kyaw Aye escaped when the attack on his village Shwe Pyi occurred. “I don’t know why the soldiers arrested the villagers. A military column came into our village and opened fire. We were afraid and ran away.” He’s lost contact with those who are under detention in the Buddhist monastery.

Before they arrested the others, Kyaw Aye said soldiers beat them. “I am sure villagers were also tortured by soldiers,” he told NMG from a secret hiding location.

The soldiers even detained civilians who were under quarantine in a facility in Shwe Pyi, placing them with everyone else at Shwe Pyi monastery.

“They shouldn’t have done that during the COVID-19 pandemic because it’s very rude. They arrested everyone, including babies. They even arrested a woman who had just given birth and was in quarantine at her home,” he said.

NMG contacted Tatmadaw’s True News information team for comment, but no one responded. Nothing has been reported on its website.

Shwe Pyi has almost 600 dwellings. Thasi village has over 400 homes and Shwe Pyi Thit has nearly 300.