Myanmar junta detains entire family of woman wanted on suspicion of supporting PDF

Regime forces searching for a woman suspected of financially supporting the anti-junta People’s Defence Force (PDF) abducted eight members of her family in Yangon Region’s Twante Township on Saturday. 

Two of the family members—a six-year-old child and a one-year-old infant—were later released, but the other six remain in custody, according to Cho Zin, the woman being sought.

“They’re holding my younger brother at the interrogation centre in Kawhmu. I called his girlfriend and she said they told her they’d release him if I turned myself in,” Cho Zin, 30, told Myanmar Now on Monday.

“I’m not going to turn myself in because they were always going to take us all anyway. It would be suicide for me to go,” she said.

Among those still being detained are Cho Zin’s mother, her younger brother and sister, and her uncle. The other two are her cousin and her uncle’s son-in-law.

Cho Zin herself had previously been held in Yangon’s Insein Prison for three months on charges of incitement, until her release as part of an amnesty in October of last year.

The military has been aggressively searching for members of resistance forces in Twante Township since it captured two leaders of the Twante Royal Defence Force (TRDF) last week.

One of the leaders was arrested in Yangon’s Myaynigone Township on June 12, while the other was taken into custody in Twante the following day.

At least two other TRDF members have been detained since then, according to a source close to the group. Another dozen or so people apprehended during raids are also being held, the source added.

“They forced the leaders, with their hands tied behind their backs, to take them to the places where they were based. Some people in those neighbourhoods were beaten,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. 

The military has not released any information regarding the raids in Twante, and its spokesperson was unavailable for comment.

Twante Township is located just 25km southwest of downtown Yangon. In March of last year, junta troops from Light Infantry Division 77 killed four people and injured at least 13 others during a crackdown on anti-coup protests in the township.

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