Soldiers in Sagaing shoot protest leader in the leg before arresting him 

Soldiers shot a local protest leader and environmental rights defender in the leg as he rode on the back of a motorcycle in Sagaing Region on Tuesday morning before arresting him and taking him to an interrogation center, a source close to the activist said. 

Man Zar Myay Mon was trying to escape from the village of Shanhtu–where he had been hiding–after regime troops arrived and carried out a raid at around 6am.

“The village school was set on fire at night, and the next morning the military showed up,” said a local source who is close to the activist and requested anonymity. 

“He was leaving the village to go into hiding again but met with the military’s troops. They shot him in the thigh and he fell off the bike,” the source added.

The driver of the bike managed to escape, as did two others who were riding another motorcycle along with them. 

Man Zar Myay Mon received treatment for his wound but was sent to the Monywa interrogation center in legcuffs, the source said. 

“It seems he was targeted because of his reputation and leadership in the local civil disobedience movement and protests against the military,” a source close to the Myanmar Alliance for Transparency and Accountability (MATA)—of which Man Zar Myay Mon is a member—told Myanmar Now. 

The 28-year-old has been wanted by the regime since April, when he was charged with incitement under section 505a of the Penal Code after becoming a prominent leader of anti-coup protests in Chaung-U Township. 

His family learned of his arrest at 7am on Tuesday and they have been unable to talk to or meet with him since. He is the son of the writer Myay Mon and has previously worked as a freelance journalist. In his work as an environmental and land rights defender, Man Zar Myay Mon carried out extensive research on the country’s notorious mining sector. He was also active in the protests against the Letpadaung copper mine in Sagaing.

In addition to being a member of MATA, a leading civil society network focused on the extractive sector, Man Zar Myay Mon also belongs to the Sagaing Region coordination unit of the Myanmar Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. 

Editor’s Note: This article was updated on June 10 to include further information about Man Zar Myay Mon’s work on environmental rights.


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