Man believed to be dead returns home weeks after junta arrest 

Mang Suan Khai’s parents had given up hope that their son was alive after he was arrested by the junta’s armed forces at a protest in early March. 

They searched for him in hospitals, police stations, and Yangon’s Insein Prison, but could not locate his whereabouts, nor were they given any update by the authorities as to his condition. 

The 27-year-old ethnic Chin man, who also goes by the name Wai Yan Maung Maung, was taken into regime custody on March 3 during a violent crackdown on demonstrations in the Yangon township of North Okkalapa. 

“We thought he had been killed and we held a funeral,” his father said, noting that the Christian ceremony took place on March 7.

That was why Mang Suan Khai’s parents were shocked when 21 days after his initial disappearance and more than two weeks after his funeral, he returned home on March 24. 

To have him back “is like a dream,” his father said. 

Mang Suan Khai was arrested after suffering a rubber bullet injury to his right thigh in the March 3 attack on protesters by soldiers and police. He was then sent to Mingaladon military hospital, where he stayed for more than 10 days. He was unable to contact his family during that time. 

“He could have been killed by his injuries. My son told me that there were people who died from their injuries,” Mang Suan Khai’s father told Myanmar Now. 

At the hospital, he received medical treatment and was fed, his father said.

He was then sent to Insein Prison for the remainder of his detention. 

Although his leg was not fully healed at the time of reporting, Mang Suan Khai was able to walk slowly, family members said. 

On March 24, the regime unexpectedly released more than 600 youth who had been arrested from Myanmar’s Spring Revolution protests against the February 1 military coup. 

On the same day, the Myanmar public engaged in a “Silent Strike” against the coup council across the country, closing shops and businesses and staying home in protest of the junta. 

Demonstrations resumed on Thursday, as did arrests by soldiers and police, as well as injuries and casualties of protesters in the subsequent crackdowns.

According to the advocacy organisation the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, 286 people have been killed by the armed forces since February 1. More than 2,900 people have been arrested or targeted for arrest during this time. With more than 1,000 released, at least 1,800 people are believed to still be in detention. 


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