Missing Dagon University students believed to be in junta custody

Seven students from Yangon’s Dagon University who went missing over two days last week are believed to have been abducted by the military, a leader of the university’s student union said. 

On April 21, five of the students disappeared after one revealed in a phone call with Dagon University Student Union chairperson Min Htet Han that a military truck was entering their street in Bahan Township. 

The students were identified as Khant Zin Win, Thura Maung Maung, Zaw Lin Naing, Thiha Htet Zaw and Hein Htet. 

The next day, two of their colleagues—Thet Paing Oo and Khant Lin Maung Maung—also reportedly went missing.

“We highly suspect that they were taken by the junta. Their families are also asking at the township police stations because they suspect the same thing, but we are still unable to find anything out,” Min Htet Han told Myanmar Now. 

None of the students were members of the student union, but they had taken part in anti-coup protests, he said, adding that their disappearance has been reported to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) and the International Committee of the Red Cross. 

The military council has not responded to Myanmar Now’s calls for comment concerning the missing students. 

“We’re worried for their lives,” student union chair Min Htet Han said. “Many incidents like this have happened before, and so many people have died during interrogations without anyone knowing. We are extremely worried because we don’t even know where they are being held or what charges they are facing.” 

“Their families at least have the right to know where they are,” he added. 

The student union from the Yangon University of Economics also released a statement identifying one of their students, Htet Paing Soe, as also having been detained by the junta on April 21.

At the time of reporting, the AAPP had confirmed that nearly 1,800 civilians had been killed by the military council since the coup, and verified that more than 10,000 people were still in detention. 

The actual figures may be much higher. 

Even following brutal crackdowns on protests by the junta’s armed forces following the coup in February last year, youth across Yangon have continued demonstrations in opposition to the military.

Several attacks targeting members of the junta’s administrative mechanism have also been carried out by guerrilla forces in the commercial capital. 

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