Nine civilians in Kalay released in exchange for captured police

Seven policemen captured by anti-coup protesters in the Sagaing region town of Kalay were released on Friday in exchange for nine detained civilians, according to local protesters.  

The exchange of detainees between a coup resistance group and regime forces was the first reported since Myanmar’s military seized power on February 1.

A protester from Kalay’s Tarhan protest camp who asked not to be named said the other side had offered to make the swap.

The nine released prisoners were from a total of around 40 civilians who have been detained in the town since February 7, he added.

“All nine were people who had been arrested for breaching the curfew imposed by the military. They were not involved in the protests,” he told Myanmar Now.

“They are still holding our comrades who were arrested at protests. We want them released as well,” he added, noting that further releases are expected on Monday.

The protesters captured four plainclothes officers after they entered the Tarhan protest site last Wednesday. Three more were taken into custody over the next few days.  

“We treated them well. There were no beatings. We tied [their hands] for security reasons but untied them when they ate,” said the Kalay protester.

“We saw them as humans,” he said of the protesters’ attitude towards their captives.

Regime forces have intensified their crackdown on Kalay’s protest sites since March 28, when four protesters were killed during an assault on the Tarhan protest camp on Bogyoke road. 

Protesters who defended themselves with hunting rifles said that four members of the regime’s forces were also killed. Another 17 were reportedly injured.


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