Friday, September 30, 2011

Ailing Youth Detained in Lieu of Activist Brother in Arakan's Capital

Sittwe: An ailing youth was reportedly arrested by police instead of his brother who is suspected of activist activities in Sittwe, the capital of Arakan State, in an operation to ward off any untoward events marking the 4th anniversary of the monk-led protest popularly known as the Saffron Revolution.

A local youth activist told Narinjara that the police have arrested and are holding the youth in detention because they could not find his older brother - identified as Zaw Chay (a) Zaw Zaw - during their raid on his residence in Ohntapun Ward in Sittwe.

"The police raided Zaw Chay's residence at 11 pm last Monday, [26 September, 2011], to arrest him, but as they could not find him, they have taken away his ailing younger brother and are holding him in custody at Police Station No. 1 in the town instead," said the activist.

He said the police were following Zaw Chay because he was involved in leading commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of Venerable U Ottama Day on 9 September, 2011.

"The police have wanted him since he participated in the frontline for commemorating Ven. U Ottama Day, but more probably they attempted to arrest him because news is spreading that a monk-led protest will be carried out in the town to mark the 4th anniversary of the Saffron Revolution," he said.

According to other sources, the police had launched unexpected checks on the hotels and some residences during the night on 26 September, 2011, in the town regarding the news of the monk-led protests to be held in memory of the Saffron Revolution on the following day.

The armed police were also deployed on every corner, including the Buddhist pagodas and monasteries in the town on 27 September, and phone and internet connections were cut for several hours on the day.

The youth activist said the police have been keeping Zaw Chay's brother in custody in order to force Zaw Chay to surrender to them, as well as to intimidate people away from becoming involved in the movement against the Burmese regime.

"Zaw Chay's brother is still in custody, even though Zaw Chay has already escaped, and this kind of arbitrary arrest has been the usual practice the authorities' forces have been perpetuating with impunity in our state, especially on those who are involved in political movements, through the ages of Burmese military regimes in order to force the main suspect to surrender to them and intimidate people away from movements opposing their rule. Now the other family members are worried for the youth who is suffering from an ailment," he added.

http://www.narinjara.com/details.asp?id=3118
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