Junta seals off Mandalay home of NUG justice minister 

The military raided and sealed the house of Thein Oo, Minister of Justice for the shadow National Unity Government (NUG), in Mandalay’s Maha Aungmyay Township on Wednesday.  

Some 20 junta soldiers and police officers arrived at the minister’s two-storey house on 42nd St in Ayadaw ward in what appeared to be civilian vehicles at around 11am, according to a local resident who spoke to Myanmar Now on the condition of anonymity. 

The resident said that the troops broke into the home and remained inside for around 45 minutes. 

“They broke the locks as soon as they arrived and searched the house. The roads around the house were blocked as well. After searching it, they locked the house from the outside,” he said.  

The local added that this was the third time that the military had come to search Thein Oo’s home, and that on previous visits they took photos of the premises. 

Thein Oo, who is in exile, told Myanmar Now on Thursday morning that the house was empty when the military came.

“That house had been locked up since no one had been living there for a long time. They broke into it and searched the entire building and took whatever they wanted,” he explained. “I used to live alone in that house but no one had been living there since I left.”

He said that such incidents would continue to occur as long as the junta continued to hold onto power.

“The main culprit behind such actions is the military council. We need to eradicate Min Aung Hlaing’s coup regime once and for all. I would like to ask for the people’s cooperation,” Thein Oo said. 

Thein Oo, a graduate of Yangon University, worked as a lawyer in Mandalay until he joined the National League for Democracy party after the 1988 uprising against the military dictatorship at that time. 

He is known as one of the party’s first members, and was elected as a parliamentarian representing Maha Aungmyay in 1990, but, like others elected, was prohibited by the military from taking his seat in the legislature and had to flee the country. 

The NLD’s elected administration was again ousted in a military coup on February 1 this year. 

The party’s central working committee released a statement accusing the junta of raiding and destroying the homes of NLD members, supporters and MPs through the end of November, sealing off a total of 57 such residences. 

Similar raids have been carried out on homes of civilians accused of funding the NUG, or the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw or the People’s Defence Force. 

While no one was living in Thein Oo’s house at the time of the most recent raid, he pointed out that the families of those who have been targeted in this way have faced threats of arrest. 

“There are many people who are having it a lot worse than us. I’ve shed many tears for my people,” the minister said, adding that when it comes to the junta, “I’m not scared of them anymore.”

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