Arakan NLD complains of harassment by authorities

Oct 15, 2008 (DVB), Members of the National League for Democracy in Arakan state have complained that they are being subjected to increased harassment by government authorities and scrutiny of party activities.

U Tin Thein Aung, acting secretary of Taunggok township NLD and organising committee deputy chairman, said authorities had been keeping a closer watch on the group’s member since September this year.

"They are watching our members more closely now by assigning police officers to follow each individual," Tin Thein Aung said.

"It's becoming more like in football matches where players from one team mark the players on the other team," he said.

"The police officers will closely follow you from dawn until dusk and keep a record of everything you say. Now we can’t even visit to people close to us freely."

Tin Thein Aung said a group led by police private Kyaw Myint had been assigned to follow him.

Soe Lay, the NLD secretary for Gwa township, said party members have been prevented by local authorities from carrying out their regular activities.

"The authorities here are preventing us from attending the party’s meeting and questioning us whenever we do things," Soe Lay said.

"They have threatened to the motorbike taxis in town not to provide us with transportation," he said.

"They are trying to isolate us from people around us by making them scared to communicate with us."

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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