Four Mandalay lawyers detained for days in undisclosed location

Four lawyers from Mandalay who had been working on the defence teams for politically motivated cases put forward by the junta have been held in an unidentified location for days since their December 19 arrest by the military authorities, according to members of their legal networks.

The families of the attorneys have not been able to confirm their whereabouts since they were taken into junta custody. 

They were abducted from the office of Shwe Alin Legal Services near the No. 3 police station in Chanmyathazi Township, according to a Mandalay-based lawyer who spoke to Myanmar Now on the condition of anonymity. 

“They haven’t been transferred to Obo prison yet,” the lawyer said, referring to a major prison in the region. “We were told that they were still at the interrogation centre. No case has been filed against them either.”

Legal sources did not want to name three of the detained lawyers, but confirmed that one is Lwin Lwin Mar, who had been helping individuals charged with incitement since the February 1 coup. All four of the lawyers are women. 

“I think they’re trying to make an example out of them so that no one would dare to take on political cases,” another lawyer based in Mandalay said. 

Myanmar Now has been unable to contact junta officers at the No. 3 police station in Chanmyathazi for comment regarding the arrests. 

The military has been detaining its political opponents across the country, with many killed in military custody. 

Earlier this month in Mandalay, Thae Htwe Maung, a party member of the National League for Democracy from Pyigyidagun Township, and his wife were taken by the military to an interrogation centre. Within days, their families were told that they had died and their bodies were not returned for burial. 

According to a Wednesday statement released by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), more than 10,000 people have been arrested and nearly 1,400 people killed by the junta in the 10 months since the coup.

The military has denounced the AAPP as an illegal organisation and dismissed its figures as exaggerated.

The AAPP maintains that its regularly updated numbers are based on available data and that the actual totals of those arrested or murdered by the coup regime may be much higher. 

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