Freedom Memoirs – Day 354

Attacks on the regime’s lackey continued in Mandalay this morning. A SAC-appointed hundred household leader from Myo Thit Ward (5) in Chanmyatharsi Township, Mandalay Region, was shot, and seriously injured in the process. Residents from the area spoke to the Irrawaddy News that the 50-year-old U Myint Thein was a pro-military thug, and locals were more scared of him than the actual ward administrator as he used to bring in the junta’s army to frequently search the houses, and reported pro-democracy supporters to junta. This morning around 7am, he was shot at his shop while doing his dishes. Currently, he is hospitalized in the military hospital.
 
Ahead of the trial of Rohingya Genocide by International Court of Justice (ICJ) that will take place during February 21 to 28, Myanmar Muslim Community spoke to Khit Thit Media that U Htay Aung, a pro-military supporter, has been sent to Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries by the junta in an attempt to mitigate the pressure for the genocide. On January 2, the junta flew out U Htay Aung, the Orchid hotel owner, and his group as their representative. Free Rohingya Coalition’s co-founder Ro Nay San Lwin shared his opinion that the junta’s action of issuing diplomat passport to U Htay Aung, along with the regime army’s commanding officer and the translator accompanying him for the trip, proved that the junta was terrified of the charges from ICC and Argentina court. He also added that the junta’s effort will not be very much fruitful.
 
The local People Defense Force (PDF) has become more successful in its own weapon production. Sagaing based Special Attacking Force (SAF) reported that their production of 9-bullets shotgun has been finally accomplished today after testing the production for over two months. SAF representative spoke to Mizzima News that the shortage of weapons remained the major barrier while fighting against the junta’s forces, and therefore, innovative weapon production is instrumental for PDFs. The weapon production does not come very easily too, the technicians watched tutorials on Youtube followed by two months of testing. While it costs 2 million MMK to buy such shotguns from the market, own production only cost 500,000 MMK. Moreover, 9-bullet shotguns do not need to reload again and again so it’s convenient for our soldiers. With such encouraging news coming from PDFs, we also hope that there will be fewer casualties among PDFs due to the lack of weapons.

Freedom of Information is still harshly pressed in Myanmar. According to Myanmar Now, Mandalay-based Mandalay Free Press (MFP) part-time video editor Ko Aung Zaw Zaw has been detained in Kantbalu Myoma Police Station. A source close to his family said that the regime’s subordinates came to look for his father, who was a former village tract administrator, in Tawkashat Village in Sagaing Region and while searching the house, they arrested the son citing political content found in his phone. After the arrest, regime’s forces raided the home again to collect his laptop and other properties. MFP editor demanded that the junta released Ko Aung Zaw Zaw as soon as possible because he did not commit any crimes, and he was innocent and only working part-time for MFP. On January 6, two journalists from Sagaing-based Zeyar Times News Agency were also sentenced for two years in prison under 505/A penal code.
 
According to DVB news, internally displaced persons (IDP) from Depaeyin Township in Sagaing Region cannot return to their homes as the junta’s army and pro-military supporter Pyu-Saw-Htee group threatened them to pay from 150,000 – 200,000 MMK per acre for harvesting crops. Moreover, Pyu-Saw-Htee are ruling over Nyaung-kine, Yone-taw, Kyaung-shaw-taw, and Maupin villages from Depaeyin Township, and they have been setting villagers’ homes on fire and murdering them if they do not join their group. Therefore, most villagers are scared of returning to their homes. Furthermore, the SAC has been deploying air strike forces randomly towards the villages from Yay Oo and Khin Oo townships which are on the eastern part of Depaeyin. Due to the air strikes, raids and burning down the villages, there are currently over 10,000 refugees who are facing shortage of food, medicine, and clothing supplies.
 
The SAC has arrested U Kyaw Soe Naing, a former NLD Parliament Representative from Nganzun Township, in Ywarthigyi village, Sagaing Region on the night of January 19.  The locals spoke to Khit Thit media that the junta’s forces have also arrested the host U Htay Lwin for accommodating U Kyaw Soe Naing as a guest in his house. Two military convoys blocked Ma-taunt-ta ward around 10pm last night, and arrested both U Kyaw Soe Naing and U Htay Lwin. U Kyaw Soe Naing’s wife Daw Su Su Htay, his 18-year-old son Ko Kaung Myat Naing and 14-year-old daughter May Htoo Naing were also arrested on June 20 last year since junta’s forces could not locate U Kyaw Soe Naing.
 
According to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), 1488 innocent civilians have been murdered and 11651 people have been arrested by Min Aung Hlaing’s regime during the spring revolution as of January 20. Moreover, 1966 civilians have been charged with a warrant while 635 detainees have been sentenced to prison time.

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