Nang Mo Hom is still in TNLA custody but in good health, a representative of the armed group says.
Widely shared photos and news of the death of Shan detainee Nang Mo Hom are untrue, according to a spokesperson from the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), which has held the mother of three in its custody since mid-August.
“Nang Mo Hom’s photos, which have been spreading on Facebook and WeChat, are fake,” the TNLA’s Maj Mai Aik Kyaw told SHAN. “She has faced trial three times. Our court will make a decision on this case soon,” he said, adding that Nang Mo Hom was in good health.
The TNLA representative said that the organization had sent a video message from Nang Mo Hom to her family in Namkham, northern Shan State, this month. She was arrested on August 17 and has not had contact with her family since then.
However, Nang Mo Kham—Nang Mo Hom’s sister—told SHAN that the family had not received any update about her sister, or her health, and remain concerned about her wellbeing.
“The TNLA hasn’t informed us—we haven’t seen a video recording of my sister. We have seen Nang Mo Hom’s photos spreading online. It’s not her real photo—it’s just a fake photo,” Nang Mo Kham said.
She said that she continues to call for Nang Mo Hom’s immediate release.
The Namkham Youth Network, which has been public in demanding Nang Mo Hom be allowed to return home, also expressed concern about the rumors of her death being shared on social media. A representative pointed out that this could escalate interethnic tension.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners released a statement on Thursday urging TNLA to demonstrate its commitment to peace by releasing Nang Mo Hom, and condemning the circumstances of her arrest, which occurred at gunpoint and without informing the village headperson.
On September 17, marking one month since her arrest, SHAN reported that thousands of people gathered in Namkham for a peaceful protest calling for Nang Mo Hom to be released.
Earlier this month, the TNLA published a statement saying that the armed group was taking legal action against Nang Mo Hom for allegedly violating its Criminal Act 333. They have accused her of interfering with TNLA troops who were collecting “tax” in her community after one such soldier was shot by the Burma Army in 2017. Her family members insist that she is innocent and deny that she had any involvement in the charges against her.