Myanmar: Junta Arrests Scores Of Residents In Sittwe


The military regime abducted about 200 residents from Mingan Ward in Arakan State’s Sittwe Town on Sunday. They have been held incommunicado since, according to residents.

Ten vehicles full of junta troops arrived in Mingan Ward at around 1 p.m. on June 16, and went door to door arresting people, said witnesses.

A family member of one detainee said: “They made arrests until 4 p.m. They didn’t explain the reason for the arrests. Some were taken blindfolded. We don’t know where they were taken to.”

The detained residents range in age from 15 and 50 years old, including both men, women and children. Some residents from Yaychanpyin, Aung Taing, Palin Pyin, Ohyayphaw and Kyettawpyin villages who were forcibly moved to Sittwe Town recently were also detained.

Family members do not know their whereabouts, and have expressed concerns for their safety.

Some detainees reportedly phoned their families on Sunday evening, and told them that they were in Darpaing (Muslim) Village in the west of the township, and that they were told that they would be released if a ransom was paid.

“Family members received a phone call asking for ransom money of 700,000 kyats per person,” said a resident.

As of press time, DMG could not independently verify those claims.

The regime reportedly arrested more Mingan Ward residents on Sunday night as junta personnel knocked on doors purportedly to check for unregistered overnight guests.

“They came again and arrested more people around 9 p.m. My friends were also arrested. I don’t know where they were taken to,” said a Sittwe resident.

Many residents have fled the Arakan State capital for fear of possible fighting between the Myanmar military and Arakkha Army, but many low-income families cannot afford to flee the town.

One resident who remains in Sittwe said: “We don’t feel safe in the town, but we are left with no choice. We are constantly worried that they might come and we were already consumed with worries about how to make ends meet.”

The regime arrested more than 300 residents of Byaing Phyu Village in Sittwe Township on May 29, killing at least 76 people and burning many of their bodies, according to the AA. It has also prosecuted some detainees.


Development Media Group (DMG) was founded on the Thai-Myanmar border on January 9, 2012, in accordance with the current requirements of Arakan (Rakhine) State, by both residents inside the country, and former residents now in exile, who see value in meaningful quality media and applying news media as a powerful resource for regional stability, peace-making, and holistic and sustainable development.

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