Nearly 60 locals arrested in five days under conscription law in Salin

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Nearly 60 people were arrested in the past five days in Magway Region’s Salin Township in connection with the conscription law, according to local sources.

Those arrested are from the towns of Salin and Sinphyukyun. Some of them have lost contact with their families since their arrest.

“They arrest many youths at once, both men and women. Very few are released after arrest. They have arrested more than 50 or 60 people,” said a local.

According to a local, the junta made arrests from 3 to 7 June, with over 30 people from Ku To village arrested on 3 June alone.

Also on 4 and 5 June, the junta arrested nearly 30 residents of Sin Kyone village and Sin Hpyu Kyun town, bringing the total number of people arrested to about 60.

A group of about 30 junta policemen and soldiers carry out targeted arrests in the evenings after school hours. Only a few of those arrested are released, report the residents of Salin.

“Only one married couple, who were arrested for riding a motorcycle, were released. We no longer have any contact with the others. Even those who were released had to pay about one million kyat,” said a resident of Salin.

The junta troops also conduct searches and arrests in the villages at night during their patrols, locals said.

On the night of 6 June, they arrested three people during their patrols. According to locals, 1.5 million kyat (500,000 kyat per person) was demanded before they were released.

The junta columns operate in Salin township. They are reportedly people who were conscripted through a lottery and newly recruited members of the Pyu Saw Htee militia, a member of a local defense group confirmed.

“The junta is using people newly recruited through the draft lottery in the fighting in Pwintbyu. Since we are taking effective action against people collaborating with the junta’s conscription, there have been changes with the administrators. Or in some cases they have fled. The army columns are taking advantage of this situation and entering the villages without administrators,” said a member of the defense from Minbu District.

The junta troops arrest their family members when they cannot find the people who have won the conscription lottery. In one case, a 70-year-old mother from Sin Kyone village and the brother-in-law of a conscription lottery winner from Salin township were arrested, locals said.

In addition, the junta has also cited the use of VPN apps as a reason for the arrest, threatening 8 years imprisonment for using VPNs. Those who do not want to serve the 8-year sentence are asked to pay millions in kyat. If they do not comply, they are conscripted into military service, according to locals.

Fierce fighting has been taking place in Salin Township since April, with more than 10 villages displaced by the junta’s offensive. According to local sources, the regime was forced to abandon at least two military positions.

Sent by Than Lwin Times.

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