Release Letpadan bystanders, including 15-yr-old, say locals

Release Letpadan bystanders, including 15-yr-old, say locals

A mother whose 15-year-old son has been in police detention since the crackdown on student protests in Letpadan on 10 March has called for his release. He was one of a number of people at the violence who, local residents say, was arrested despite being merely bystanders.

San San Aye said her son Ko Chit was merely a witness when he was detained in the repression of demonstrations earlier this month. He was initially held at Tharawaddy prison and scheduled for discharge the following day, but was returned to Letpadan where the police have continued to detain him without explanation.

“He was arrested in front of the agriculture office in Letpadan, and kept overnight at Tharawaddy prison, before being transferred to back to Letpadan on 11 March. He is still being held there by police, and they are not allowing me to see him,” said San San Aye.

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“Apparently my son cannot be charged as he is a juvenile. The police are still refusing to let him go even though the ward chairman pledged to be his guarantor.”

She said her two nephews, Soe Win Aung and Aung San, had been beaten up by police after returning home from work on bicycles, and then detained. They are currently being held in Tharawaddy prison.

An officer from Letpadan police station confirmed to DVB by phone that San San Aye’s son Ko Chit was being held at the police-superintendent’s house.

“The child is in custody with the station’s superintendent, under his supervision. He will not be released yet,” said the officer.

Meanwhile, students and members of the public who were detained in Tharawaddy prison since the 10 March crackdown have been given permission to receive visits from the parents as of Friday, according to local National League for Democracy member Kyaw Naing Oo.

He said that prison officials made an announcement that parents of the imprisoned students could visit their children in prison once a week. Family visits are not to be permitted on Sundays, and ID cards and householder registration documents must be supplied.

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