Armed forces arrested many civilians in Shan State as part of the military regime’s campaign against the southeastern nation’s protest movement that has resisted its authority after the Army overthrew the democratically elected government before it could be sworn into power during a bloodless coup about four months ago.
Armed forces, which included soldiers, police and members of a People’s Militia Force, arrested five youths collecting donations for displaced civilians in a market in the border town of Muse on Wednesday morning, May 26.
Ma Pyae Pyae, 32; Ma Nyein Thida, 28; Ma Soe Su Hlaing, 24; Ma Htet Yamin Nwe, 20 and Maung Swam Win, 17, were detained at about 10am, according to a woman.
The youths had about one million kyat ($605) when they were picked up, which the armed forces stole, according to another youth also collecting money.
No one knows where they were taken. “When their families asked about them at the police station, the officers told them they didn’t detain the youths,” the source told SHAN.
There have been 41 people in the northern Shan State town along the border with China taken by armed forces since the February 1 coup.
Burma Amy arrested two minors for spray painting slogans against the regime on the side of a school in Banbwee village, Nawngkio Township, last Friday morning, May 21. The two youths, both 17, were beaten by soldiers in the northern Shan State town during arrests at 11am.
“Previously, they spray-painted on the side of a school and I think the soldiers were waiting to arrest them,” said an eyewitness, explaining that soldiers fired their guns before taking them to Nawngkio Myoma Police Station where they are being held because of their ages .
The military council ordered schools to open on June 1, but few students enrolled for classes.
In Nawngkio Township, Burma Army killed a man during a protest and detained at least 10 people.
In southern Shan State, armed forces arrested many civilians on Monday evening, May 24.
According to reports from locals, many were detained by armed forces while passing through checkpoints in Taunggyi Township. “They stopped all the vehicles and motorbikes near Myaepon and I saw soldiers arrest at least 10 people, including children and their mothers,” a woman told SHAN.
The woman said in the town of Taunggyi armed forces raided people’s homes, arresting about 5 residents at around 9pm. They also detained people in the streets.
“We are worried about our safety,” said another woman who lives there.
A youth told SHAN the military council is concerned that fighting between Karenni People’s Defense Force and Burma Army, which started last Friday, May 21, will spill over in the Shan State capital.
A bomb exploded in front of the military supported USDP office on Monday. After the explosion, armed forces rounded up whoever happened to be in the area. According to local news outlets, more than 50 people were arrested in Taunggyi.
Since the coup, armed forces have been conducting spot checks on pedestrians and motorists, forcing them to pay money.