The government mouthpiece Myanmar Radio and Television (MRTV) claimed the junta’s armed forces arrested two youths in northern Shan State because they were carrying weapons but family and friends have denied this. Additionally, a family member said his relative is a minor, but MRTV reported he was 18.
“They intentionally fabricated this fake story. How can children have M-22 rifles?” asked a local woman. Since the February 1 coup, she said that she’s seen a lot of injustice committed by the military regime. “The Burma army continue to do whatever they want… During army rule, we will live under fear. This is why we need to get rid of the military dictatorship,” she said.
Maung Ye Thu Wai Lin, 17, and Maung Hein Aung Sett, 20, were arrested around 9am May 11, when passing by a police station on a motorbike in Muse town. The next day, MRTV reported they had five M-22 rifles and sixteen handmade landmines. A family member of Maung Ye Thu Wai Lin told SHAN the youths only had their phones went they left the house.
“I saw wounds on the faces of our children. They were tortured in a police jail. They (MRTV) reported fake news,” they said. “We waited in the police station all day, but we were not allowed to see our children. Our lawyer was also denied access,” the family member said, explaining how shocking it was to see the youths on TV.
The military council tightened security in the border town near China, and people who joined protests are being arrested in their homes. There have been thirty people arrested in Muse since the Army took over the country.
Four youths were charged with Article 505(a) of Burma’s Penal Code on May 11 for protesting in Hsipaw Township.
“An informer reported these four people to the police, and it is why they were arrested,” explained a local man familiar with their case. Their next court hearing in the town of Hsipaw is May 21. Authorities are accusing two of making slingshots, knives and shields for demonstrations.
“In the past, they issued arrest warrants before detaining people, giving them a chance to run away to a safe place,” said another local. Now they are targeting everyone he said, not just organizers.
Since the coup, the military council arrested eight protesters in Hsipaw town. Youths are calling for their immediate release.