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Two leading members of the Confederation of University Student Unions (CUSU) were arrested by police following their participation in a 7 July Students Massacre commemoration rally at Rangoon University on Tuesday.
Zeyar Lwin and Paing Phyo Min were snatched by plain-clothes police at 4pm on Inya Road as they returned from the rally in a friend’s car. Police sandwiched the vehicle in traffic before forcibly hauling the pair out and bundling them into a police car, witnesses said.
Paing Phyo Min was charged with offences under the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Act, but later released.
Zeyar Lwin, 19, remains in police detention as of Wednesday morning, according to Nan Lin, a fellow activist.
CUSU member Ye Zarni Tun, who was with the pair at the time of their arrest, spoke to DVB shortly afterwards.
“We were on our way back from the event in a car when plain-clothes police blocked us with their cars on Inya Road. They pulled down the driver’s window, opened the door and grabbed the keys,” he said. “We started shouting but they got hold of Zeyar Lwin and Paing Phyo Min and drove off.”
Media reports suggest that Zeyar Lwin was wanted by police in connection with his involvement in a demonstration on 30 June, on that occasion to protest parliament’s vote against constitutional reform.
Tuesday’s rally at Rangoon University was held to commemorate the killing of dozens of student protestors by soldiers on 7 July 1962, and the subsequent destruction of the students’ union building by military authorities.
The CUSU, formerly the University Students’ Union, or more commonly known by the Burmese acronym Ta-Ka-Tha, was the main organiser of Tuesday afternoon’s event.