Civilians and monks arrested in Arakan state and Magwe division

Oct 4, 2007 (DVB), Fifty people have been arrested in Sittwe and another 50 in Pakokku, as well as an unknown number of monks, as Burmese security forces continue to crack down on public dissent.

At least 50 people in Arakan’s capital Sittwe have been arrested so far by authorities in connection with recent protests against government harassment, said residents.

A large number of monks, who had been ordered by the Ministry of Religious Affairs to return to their villages, were also arrested on their way home for failing to show their travel documents. The exact number of monks detained is not known.

In Magwe division's Pakokku township about 50 people, including a people’s parliament representative, were arrested yesterday by authorities.

Pakokku residents told DVB that police officials had made the arrests at around 1pm yesterday from several different places for an unknown reason. Among those detained were Pakokku people’s parliament representative U Hlaing Aye, National League for Democracy member Ko Tin Nyunt, and 84-year-old U Ba Min, who has been suffering from heart problems and hypertension and has difficulty walking.

Residents also said monks are in fear of troops raiding monasteries and arresting them and have been forced to take turns guarding the monasteries at night. Some monks who have left their monasteries to return to their villages have been arrested at bus stations.

Pakokku authorities have also arrested several township NLD party members over the past week, including U Pike Ko of the NLD organizing committee.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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