We are deeply concerned over reports of a brutal shooting and arrest of activist Man Zar Myay Mon in Shan Htoo Village in Sagaing Region, Myanmar on June 8, 2021.
Man Zar Myay Mon is a member of the Myanmar Alliance for Transparency and Accountability (MATA) and an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Subnational Coordination Unit (SNU) member for the Sagaing Region. In his work, he helped uncover corruption and was active as a community leader in protests. Since the February 1 coup in which the Tatmadaw illegally seized power in Myanmar, Man Zar Myay Mon has regularly led protests in opposition to the violent military junta and in support of democracy and peace. A warrant was issued for his arrest on April 17, causing him to go into hiding.
On the morning of June 8, Man Zar Myay Mon informed his wife that someone had called him out and he left the house with two friends, at which time he was shot at and arrested. He and his friends were detained at the Northwest Division Military Headquarters. After days in military custody where he was reportedly beaten and tortured, he was transferred to a police station to face multiple charges, including under section 505A of the Penal Code which is often used to criminalize dissent and criticism of the junta.
Since the start of the coup, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) has documented more than 800 individuals killed and nearly 5,000 individuals arrested. Reports of detainee torture continue to surface, and protest leaders such as Man Zar Myay Mon are at particular risk.
We urge the immediate release of Man Zar Myay Mon, and all other detained political prisoners, including those detained for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association.
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights