Junta arrests two former NLD candidates from Rakhine State

Junta forces arrested two former National League for Democracy (NLD) candidates from Rakhine State in Yangon on Wednesday. 

Ni Ni May Myint, an incumbent lower house NLD candidate for Rakhine’s Taungup Township in last year’s election, and Chit Chit Chaw, who ran for an upper house seat in the same constituency, had both been in hiding since the February 1 coup. 

Ni Ni May Myint had returned to her home in Hlaing Township three days ago, and then moved to another location, according to her husband Lynn Naing.

He said that all he knew about the circumstances of his wife’s arrest is that she was with their four-year-old daughter when she was taken into custody.

“I was told that the police brought my daughter to my wife’s sister’s house at around 5:30pm. That’s all I know,” he told Myanmar Now, explaining that he and his wife have lived apart since she went into hiding. 

“I don’t know where she was arrested, either,” he added.

May Thi, the mother of Chit Chit Chaw, also said that she had few details about her 33-year-old daughter’s arrest, except that it took place at a house in Yangon’s Kamayut Township.

“We were staying at separate places. I only found out about the arrests when the news appeared online,” she said, noting that the regime has disclosed no information about where the women are being held. 

“I want to know where they are being detained, at least,” she added.

The pair had previously been held captive for 79 days after being kidnapped, along with Min Aung, a sitting NLD MP, by the Arakan Army (AA) in Taungup while campaigning for last year’s November 8 election.  

All three were released on January 1 following negotiations between the Myanmar military and the AA.

Min Aung, who led an anti-coup protest in Taungup when the military seized power a month later, has been detained since February 9.

“First the AA arrested them, and now the army has arrested them. They were not making any trouble for anybody. They [the military and the AA] arrested them just because they wanted to,” said Lynn Naing. 

NLD central executive committee member Ba Myo Thein, the party’s Rakhine State vice-chair Soe Lay, and Moe Hsan Suu Kyi, the daughter of former Rakhine State chief minister Nyi Pu, have also been arrested by the junta in recent days. 

The junta has arrested several thousand opposition voices since the coup, including civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and many of her party leaders, including president Win Myint, pro-democracy activists, celebrities, and anti-coup protesters. 

Nearly 4,000 people remain in detention, according to a tally by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.


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