Chinese police have detained more than 400 Burmese migrants in Ruili, Yunnan Province this week after they reportedly participated in a campaign event where they wore National League for Democracy (NLD) t-shirts.
Burma’s general election is scheduled for November 8, but Chinese authorities have warned Burmese nationals in China not to take part in any campaign activities.
Chan Myae, who is working with the Shweli (Ruili) Myanmar Social Volunteer Team, said that the people were wearing red NLD t-shirts and were arrested on the afternoon of October 8.
“They are being detained in Shweli prison,” Chan Myae told SHAN.
He added that one reason for the crackdown was the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and Chinese restrictions on gathering in crowds.
“We have to follow their guidelines because this is their country,” Ko Sai, a Burmese national who lives in Ruili, told SHAN. “[The NLD supporters] told me this is a democratic era. But China is not a democratic country.”
It remains unclear how the Chinese authorities will proceed with the case or charges against the detained Burmese people.