Mandalay protest leader still in interrogation centre three months after his arrest 

Thura Aung, a protest leader who was rumoured to be dead following his arrest more than three months ago, is still being held in the notorious Mandalay Palace interrogation centre, according to a member of a local strike committee.

The strike committee member, who asked not to be named, confirmed that Thura Aung was still alive, but was suffering from a number of serious injuries.

“His knee is injured, and he was also kicked in the neck. The injuries are very serious and worrying,” he said.

He added that Thura Aung has not had any contact with his family since his arrest at a house in Mandalay’s Maha Aungmyay Township on the evening of February 9.

Thura Aung, who had been organising flash mob protests against Myanmar’s military junta since last year’s coup, was detained along with three others who have since been transferred to Mandalay’s Obo Prison.

Only Thura Aung remains at the Mandalay Palace interrogation centre, where prisoners are routinely subjected to torture and other brutal treatment, the strike committee member said.

He added that it was unclear what charges had been laid against Pho Lone, Soe Lin Aung, and Hla Myo Aung—the other three protesters who were arrested along with Thura Aung.

Attempts to reach junta officials for information regarding Thura Aung’s condition went unanswered. 

Local activist groups in Mandalay have appealed to the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian organisations, as well as foreign embassies, to intervene in the case.

Meanwhile, protest leaders have vowed to continue putting pressure on the regime that seized power last year.

“We have plans for more strikes in the future. We are not going to stop. We are going to use whatever force we have left to fight back against the junta,” the strike committee member told Myanmar Now.

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