The military council recently arrested the wife and adult daughter of Mandalay’s incarcerated chief minister, a family friend told Myanmar Now.
Zaw Myint Maung’s wife Yu Yu May and their youngest child Su Wai Pon were taken into junta custody days after his lawyer was arrested, the source said on the condition of anonymity.
Seventy-year-old Zaw Myint Maung is also a vice-chair of the National League for Democracy (NLD), whose administration—headed by the now detained State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi—was ousted in a military coup in February last year.
The chief minister, who is being held in Mandalay’s Obo Prison, has been hit with several criminal charges by the military authorities, including five for corruption. His hearings have been held every Tuesday and Friday in a specially designated junta court inside the prison.
Zaw Myint Maung suffers from leukemia, an illness for which he has continued to require medical treatment inside Obo Prison. Due to his health condition, he has had to rely on his wife and family members to bring him food and necessary medications, which they typically do at his twice-weekly court hearings.
A source close to the legal team representing Zaw Myint Maung told Myanmar Now that Yu Yu May was last seen at one such hearing on April 29.
“We were able to get in touch with her right after his lawyer, Ywet Nu Aung, was detained. Then one of his hearings was held the next day and we haven’t been able to get a hold of her since then,” the source said.
Myanmar Now is unable to confirm when and where Yu Yu May and Su Wai Pon were arrested.
The military has not released information on their detention and junta officials have not answered calls inquiring about where the pair are being held.
The junta’s corruption charges against Zaw Myint Maung allege that he accepted bribes on multiple occasions, including while he was hospitalised for his leukemia in Bangkok, Thailand. The chief minister is also accused of misusing funds in relation to the construction of NLD party offices in Myingyan and Pyin Oo Lwin.
He has already been sentenced to four years in prison after being found guilty of incitement and of violating pandemic-related public health restrictions.
The military filed further charges against him for misconduct during the 2020 general election—which carries a one-year prison sentence if convicted—and for violating Constitutional provisions, which is accompanied by a three-year term.
Zaw Myint Maung was elected as a Lower House MP in 1990, but the military regime did not honour the results of the election and barred lawmakers from taking their seats in Parliament.
Months later, he was arrested by the military authorities for high treason and sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment. He served a total of 19 years in detention in Myitkyina, Kachin State, before he was released in 2009. He has two sons and one daughter.