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Myanmar junta arrests entire family of fugitive student

Regime authorities arrested the parents and siblings of a Yangon University student after failing to apprehend him during a raid on his home on Sunday, according to sources.

An officer of the Eastern Yangon Student Union told Myanmar Now that the family of Nyan Win Htet, the student in question, is currently being held at the Dawbon Township police station.

The incident occurred on Sunday morning, when junta forces raided the home of the 20-year-old student and rounded up his entire family after finding that he wasn’t there.

Those arrested include Nyan Win Htet’s father Maung Win, his mother Kyin U, and five siblings, including a brother who is just 10 years old. 

“We were told that they fired a round during the raid,” said the student union officer. “Luckily, he wasn’t at home at the time.”

He added that junta forces had previously attempted to arrest Nyan Win Htet at a monastery near Shwedagon Pagoda after learning that he had temporarily ordained as a monk during last month’s Thingyan holidays.

“It is completely unethical to arrest an entire family like this. However, this is nothing new for this regime,” the officer said, adding that international organizations and embassies would be informed of the junta’s actions.

The incident comes just days after three other students were arrested in Dawbon, according to the student union officer.

The students, Kaung Khant Naing, Hein Htet Zaw, and Thiha Aung, were all playing football at the time of their arrest last Thursday.

A 12-year-old child who happened to be at the football field when the arrests were made was also reportedly detained.

Myanmar’s junta routinely targets family members of wanted individuals in order to pressure them to turn themselves in.

In addition to using relatives as hostages, the regime also uses the detention of family members to compound the punishment of those it deems to be its enemies.

Last Wednesday, a day after it arrested 88 Generation Peace and Open Society activists Nu Nu Aung and Khet Khet, the junta took Nu Nu Aung’s daughter and 80-year-old mother into custody, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

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