Student union members, education staff arrested in Mandalay raid

Around 100 Myanmar army soldiers raided a safehouse in Mandalay’s Chanayethazan Township on Saturday, arresting eight people, including two former student union leaders and two members of an education strike committee. 

Among those taken into junta custody were Yan Soe Paing, the former chair of the Mandalay University Student Union and Naung Htet Aung, the former chair of the Yangon Education University Student Union. 

Two members of the basic education staff’s general strike committee—Nine Thiha Kyaw and Thet Su Hlaing—were also arrested. 

Aung Pyae Sone Phyo, the chair of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions, said the identities of the remaining two detainees had not been verified. 

“The house where they had recently been staying was raided. Six of our people were taken and we only managed to identify four of them. We still don’t know who the other two are, which group they are from or why they were arrested,” he told Myanmar Now on Sunday. 

The victims’ families were worried for their safety and had received no information on their whereabouts, Aung Pyae Sone Phyo said.

“We heard that the military also kicked and beat a disabled woman at the house during the raid,” he added.

Locals who spoke to Myanmar Now on the condition of anonymity claimed that the troops who carried out the raid on the safehouse also later searched other homes in the neighbourhood and interrogated pedestrians. 

The junta’s information team did not answer calls from Myanmar Now regarding the arrests. 

Daily protests against the dictatorship are ongoing in Mandalay and have been met with brutal crackdowns by the military, whose troops have been known to open fire on demonstrators and hit them with cars. 

According to documentation by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, more than 9,000 people have been detained by the junta in the nine months since the February 1 coup. More than 1,000 have been killed. 

The military council has declared the AAPP an unlawful organisation. 

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