Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

World

Myanmar activist arrested in junta raid: wife

Myanmar activist arrested in junta raid: wife
Kyaw Min Yu pictured on his release from prison in 2012 - Copyright ${image.metadata.node.credit} ${image.metadata.node.creator}
Kyaw Min Yu pictured on his release from prison in 2012 - Copyright ${image.metadata.node.credit} ${image.metadata.node.creator}

An activist who rose to prominence during Myanmar’s 1988 student uprising has been arrested in an overnight raid, his wife said Sunday, the latest blow to the anti-junta movement as the military cracks down on dissent.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the generals ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a February coup, triggering nationwide protests that have seen more than 1,100 people killed by security forces.

Junta opponents — including allies of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party and activists — have gone into hiding across the country, while some villagers have taken up arms, forming local militias to defend themselves.

On Saturday evening, 52-year-old Kyaw Min Yu, better known as Ko Jimmy, was arrested when soldiers raided a housing complex in the North Dagon township of Yangon.

“He was staying in a safe house together with two other activists who escaped from the back door,” his wife Nilar Thein told AFP, adding that police had not informed her of his whereabouts.

Nilar Thein and Ko Jimmy are part of the so-called 88 Generation movement that challenged Myanmar’s previous military government.

They also played a major role in anti-government protests in 2007 — nicknamed the “Saffron Revolution” for the participation of orange-robed monks. 

The couple have been in and out of prison for their activism.

Ko Jimmy’s last stint behind bars was from 2007 to 2012. He was released as the generals loosened their grip to start opening up Myanmar in preparation for 2015 elections.

After the February 1 putsch this year, the junta issued an arrest warrant for him alleging he had incited unrest with his social media posts.

Another 88 Generation member, Ko Ko Gyi, confirmed Ko Jimmy’s arrest, expressing worry for him and his family.

– ‘Causing disunity’ –

While the couple are intimately aware of the dangers of activism in Myanmar, Nilar Thein said the situation is “riskier” under the current regime, which has dubbed itself the State Administration Council.

“I am afraid that I won’t see him alive” again, she said, adding that she was afraid to go to the police for fear of her own arrest.

“I urge the international community to keep their eyes (on the situation) to save the lives of Myanmar people.”

Groups including the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners — which tracks arrests under the regime — have alleged that torture has taken place during the interrogation of dissidents.

The United Nations special rapporteur on Myanmar Tom Andrews on Friday raised alarm about troops amassing in the country’s north, warning the international community to be prepared for “more mass atrocity crimes”.

Written By

With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

You may also like:

Business

View of nitrogen fertilizer being applied to growing corn (maize) in a contoured, no-tilled field in Hardin County, Iowa. Source - USDA/Photo no. NRCSIA99241...

Life

Hanukkah is an eight-day “festival of lights” that takes place during the winter, oftentimes at or around the same time as Christmas.

World

The Democratic Republic of Congo will allow armed forces from neighbouring Uganda to enter its territory to chase rebels.

World

Omicron, first discovered in southern Africa, represents a fresh challenge to global efforts to battle the pandemic.