Freedom Memoirs – Day 285

by mohingamatters

With failed justice system, junta soldiers’ assaults on women is out of control. Yesterday, the terroristic State Administration Council (SAC) admitted that one of its soldiers Min Min Soe from Phekhon Battalion 336 had raped a 62-year-old woman from Nant Phalon village, Kutkai Township in Northern Shan State on November 7. The victim was working in a corn plantation while the soldier came and asked for some food. He then committed the act, while her colleagues were away from the plantation. Junta tried to cover up the case initially, but later announced that due to the strong evidences, the case would be tried at court martial. We don’t know what caused a change of heart, but we do know that how unreliable the junta’s court martial is. 

In Ayeyarwaddy Region, Maubin Township, Ma Tin Maw Lin, who was two months pregnant, died due to excessive torture of regime police, Mizzima News reported. On November 9, an official from Maubin Township Administration Office reported thefts of gold and money at home, and accused Ma Tin Maw Lin, who worked as a daily wager at the home, for stealing. Both Ma Tin Maw Lin and her husband were arrested, and during interrogation, drunk policemen took turns and beat up the woman severely, leading to her death eventually according to a local. However, policemen denied the accusation and bluntly lied that Ma Tin Maw Lin had died due to her preexisting condition, and cremated her body discreetly to prevent the news from spreading around. Her husband is yet to be released from interrogation as well.

Extrajudicial killing by the regime forces continued across the country. In Magway Region, Natmauk Township, regime soldiers opened fire at four teenagers who were playing video games on the night of November 10. Fear for the lives, the four boys ran away but only two escaped. Wai Thu Aung was shot on the neck and killed, and Hein Myat Thu was arrested by the soldiers. The deceased was only 16 years old who had passed matriculation exam. A source told Myanmar Now media that Wai Thu Aung was a smart, young boy and the only son among his four siblings; it’s a tragic loss for the family. Again in Sagaing Region, Kawlin Township, dead bodies of three men, including a ninth grader, were found yesterday. Local sources told DVB News that U Set Aung, U Myint Ngwe and Maung Pho Chit were taken by junta soldiers after they clashed with local resistance fighters on November 7 although they were just innocent civilians. We have lost so many lives under this regime, and we must hold Min Aung Hlaing’s army accountable for every death. 

Following up the news of houses being sealed by junta forces, DVB News reported today that ten more houses of NLD party members, and political activists were sealed and nationalised in Magway Region. One house in Myaing Township, three houses in Pakkoku Townships owned by NLD’s parliamentarians were sealed on November 11. In Kanma Township, two houses of NLD party officers were sealed on the same day. On November 10, three houses of NLD parliamentarians and party officials were sealed in Sidoktaya Township, and the house of democracy activist Ko Zaw Min Htike in Magway Township was also sealed on November 11, for supposedly associating and supporting the People Defense Force (PDF).

Meanwhile, resistance fighters across the country are stepping up their guerrilla warfare. In Bago Region, Pyay Township, three soldiers, who were providing security to Hmaw Zar Township Administration Office were ambushed and killed by Pyay PDF. However, one fighter died and one officer was injured from Pyay PDF side during the operation. Regardless, Pyay PDF announced that the group would accelerate its attacks at the regime’s establishments. News came from Thaton Township, Mon State that local PDFs and Karen National Union (KNU)’s KNLA Brigade 1 announced their alliance. Four local PDFs in alliance included Thaton PDF (TPDF), Thaton People’s Guerrilla (TPG), Thuwanna Wadi PDF (TWPDF) and Pa-O PDF-Thaton District (PPDF). Pado Saw Soe Myint, Secretary of KNLA Bridge 1, said that the alliance was formed as they shared the mutual goal of demolishing the military regime.

In Papun Township, Karen State, KNU forces detonated landmines at the combined force of SAC and Border Guard Force (BGF) on November 10 and 11, killing 84 soldiers, as reported by Salween Press. On November 10, KNLA Brigade 5 dynamited the SAC and BGF combined force near War Tho Kho village, and killed four soldiers, and again on November 11, the ambush near Khway Tha village killed 80 soldiers and injured 37 from junta’s side according to an officer from KNLA Brigade 5.

In other news, a court inside Yangon’s Insein prison today convicted the detained American journalist Danny Fenster on three charges and sentenced a total of 11 years jail time. Fenster was convicted under section 505-A of the Penal Code, section 17(1) of the Unlawful Associations Act and section 13(1) of the Immigration Act. Frontier Myanmar, his current employer, said in the statement that all the charges were based on the allegation that he was working for media outlet Myanmar Now which is now banned by SAC. However, Fenster had resigned from Myanmar Now in 2020 and joined Frontier Myanmar for about nine months by the time he was arrested. The court completely ignored the evidences of his employment at Frontier and went ahead with the convictions. Fenster is also facing two additional charges, under the Counter-Terrorism Law and section 124(a) of the Penal Code, which will be heard separately.

Today, Daw Khin Mi Mi Kywe, the wife of U Phyo Min Thein, Yangon Chief Minister, gave the same testimony as her husband who said previously that he had bribed the detained leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. It doesn’t come as a surprise to many. And as usual, protests are still going strong in many parts of the country: rallies in several townships in Sagaing Region, monks’ protest in Mandalay City, and a quick guerrilla protest in Mingalardon township, Yangon to name a few.

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