Election officials being held in military detention centres

More than 80 election officials from around Yangon region have been transferred to a military interrogation camp for questioning, according to some of the detainees.  

The officials, who are from every district and township in the region except the Coco Islands, arrived at the army’s Bayintnaung camp at around 8pm on Thursday.

The military has been rounding up local-level officials of the Union Election Commission (UEC) around the country since it began a series of late-night raids on Wednesday.

“The army says we’re not under arrest. From what they’ve said about our ‘cooperation’, I assume they want to talk about the election,” said Khin Maung Win, chair of the UEC’s Yangon western district election sub-commission.

In the weeks before it seized power on February 1, the military accused the UEC of failing to ensure that last year’s election was free and fair. It claimed the coup was necessary to address allegations of widespread voter fraud.

According to Khin Maung Win, the detainees are being held two to a room and still have access to their mobile phones and any medication they need.

UEC officials in other states and regions have also been taken into custody. Some from Maubin district in Ayeyarwaddy region are been detained by the army’s Infantry Battalion 27, according to the chair of the district’s election sub-commission, who is among the detainees. 

Raids carried out late Wednesday and early Thursday netted dozens of election officials, as well as senior members of the National League for Democracy, some of whom could not be reached after their arrest.

There are also a growing number of arrests targeting doctors and other public employees who have joined the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) against the coup.

Videos showing the arrests of CDM participants and other protesters have circulated widely on social media, sparking outrage as the country enters its second week of mass protests.

At least 170 people are believed to have been arrested since last week’s military takeover abruptly ended Myanmar’s decade-old transition to civilian rule.


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