Latest arrests in Kengtung brings total detained since coup to 15

At least 15 people have been detained in Kengtung since the military seized power on February 1, including four arrested earlier this week, according to local sources.

The latest arrests took place on Monday, when four anti-coup protesters in the town in eastern Shan state were taken into custody and charged with incitement under section 505a of the Penal Code.

The four are currently being held in Kengtung prison and have not had direct contact with their families since their arrest, family members said.

“My daughter was arrested on the 15th. There’s a video that shows her saying she was beaten. I have not been allowed to see her,” said the mother of 20-year-old Yun Lae Nandar, one of the detainees.

She added that her daughter’s phone had been confiscated and that additional charges are expected to be laid against her.

At least four people have been in police custody since the first day of the coup, relatives of the detainees told Myanmar Now. They include the administrators of two local news websites.

Others arrested in the weeks since the military ousted Myanmar’s elected government include a schoolteacher, the owner of a gold shop, a taxi driver, and the township secretary of the National League for Democracy.

Three of those arrested before this week have been charged under section 505a of the Penal Code, while others are facing charges under the Natural Disaster Management Law for violating Covid-19 restrictions.

According to local sources, some of the detainees are being held in Kengtung prison, while others are in army custody.

Mass arrests have taken place around the country amid growing opposition to the coup from a broad cross-section of Myanmar society.

Among those who have been detained are 40 high-school students from Naypyitaw, 27 of whom have since been released. Others include farmers, teachers and school principals, and employees of various ministries taking part in a nationwide civil disobedience movement.

According to figures compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, the total number of people detained since the coup stood at more than 500 as of February 18.

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