Tatmadaw Detains Civilians in Rakhine State

By Network Media Group
Thursday, September 24, 2020

Tatmadaw soldiers arrested about 20 villagers from Kyauktaw Township in Rakhine State. A resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told NMG the soldiers grabbed them from Theyet Tapin at around 9 a.m. yesterday (September 23), after entering the village two-hours earlier.

“They arrested the residents in our village. And I don’t know why. They took the middle-aged and even the elderly,” said the source, who hid when the soldiers arrived. The Burma Army is detaining everyone in the clinic. Most people have fled but there were some still hiding inside.

One man, who was hiding in the village, told NMG by phone that he’s worried about his sibling.

“I don’t know why they arrested my brother. He was taken by the soldiers when returning from the paddy field.”

He reported it to his abbot and called the parliamentarians from the area.

Myint Naing, a parliamentarian for Kyauktaw Township, confirmed the information, but also couldn’t explain why it happened.

There is concern that the detainees are being tortured during interrogation.

“They’re villagers, not AA (Arakan Army) soldiers,” said a Buddhist monk from Theyet Tapin. Two or three military columns are in the village, he told NMG. Most are around the clinic, but they’re also at other locations.

NMG contacted Tatmadaw’s True News Information Team by phone about the arrests, but was unable to obtain comment.

There are over 1,000 homes in Theyet Tapin. The village is located near the Mahamuni Pagoda.

Since late 2018, fighting has been frequent between Burma Army and AA. During the pandemic, the Tatmadaw has intensified its offensives against AA, while attacking villages and detaining many civilians. Several civilians were killed by Burma Army soldiers while in custody.