Thursday, July 18th 2024

Arrested on suspicion of being AA members, 2 young men deprived of trials for 9 months

Two young men, who were arrested by the junta forces suspecting themas Arakan Army members, are waiting for fair trials even after nine months of detention.

Ko Tun Hlaing (33 years old) and Ko Than Htay (28) hailing from Wa Byint village under Kyauk Taw township, 80 miles north of the Rakhine capital city Sittwe, have been charged under article 17 (1) of  the illegal association act.

A family member informed that the military council plaintiffs remain absent for nine months for the lawsuit and hence they are suffering under detention. Both of them were summoned on 14 August for the trial at Kyauk Taw township court, but the plaintiff  did not arrive.

The family member said that they have to attend the proceeding once again on 28 August.

Tun Hlaing and Than Htay were  arrested when the military personnel and AA members were fighting each other. They were picked up from the number 539 battalion check point in Kyauk Taw township locality on 4 November. Both of them were on the way to Ponna Kyunt by a mini taxi to work  on a motorboat.

“They are not AA members but ordinary youth” asserted one of their female relatives, adding that they were tortured at  LIB (539) battalion camp.

Tun Hlaing’s  mother alleged that the army personnel have mercilessly beaten him and tried to make a confession by him that he was associated with the AA.

His wife also claimed that he is not linked to the AA and hence he should be released. He has  a nine months old son, while  Than has three daughters (4-year, 1-year and  4-month old).

On 1  August, the military council granted amnesty to 62 people, who were arrested and prosecuted on suspicion of being  AA members, but these two young men were not lucky enough.

During 2022, over 600 innocent civilians, ward & village administrators and department staff were arrested and prosecuted for allegedly being associated with the AA. Among them 400 were released in February and 62 in August.

It is understood that  more than 100 Rakhine nationals are still behind the bars with similar accusations.

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