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Amnesty International calls for release of Thet Hnin Aung; NUG claims resistance controls over half of Burma

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Amnesty International calls for release of Thet Hnin Aung

Amnesty International called for the release of trade union leader Thet Hnin Aung on Tuesday. He was re-arrested by the military on June 23 after being released from Zaymathwe Prison in Mon State, where he served a two-year sentence for his role in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).

“In addition to ongoing health concerns that require daily medication, there are grave fears for Thet Hnin Aung’s wellbeing as he has already endured torture and other ill-treatment during his prior imprisonment. The Myanmar military must immediately and unconditionally release [him],” said a statement from Amnesty International.

Thet Hnin Aung was convicted under the Counter Terrorism Law and sentenced to seven years in prison with hard labor. He is being held at Yangon’s Insein Prison. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) has documented that 26,588 people have been arrested for political reasons since the military coup on Feb. 1, 2021. 

NUG claims resistance controls over half of Burma

The National Unity Government (NUG) released a statement to mark its third anniversary on Tuesday. It claimed that resistance forces, including the People’s Defense Force (PDF), controlled over 60 percent of the country as well as five border towns. 

“Controlled area means there are no military forces and we are running an administration and some services. Liberated area means we are providing everything needed and there is no way for the military to [take it back],” said Nay Phone Latt, the NUG Prime Minister’s Office spokesperson. 

The NUG added that it has engaged with civil society groups, neighboring countries, and international bodies such as the U.N., since its founding in April 2021. Kyaw Zaw, the NUG President’s Office spokesperson, said that the NUG promises to work with all resistance groups to end military rule and build federal democracy in Burma.

Thailand appoints new foreign minister

The Thai government announced the appointment of its new Minister of Foreign Affairs Maris Sangiampongsa on Wednesday, Reuters reported. The previous Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-nukara resigned after he was removed from his post as Deputy-Prime Minister.

Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs under Parnpree launched a pilot humanitarian aid delivery into Burma in March and vowed to allow up to 100,000 refugees from Burma to stay temporarily in Thailand in April. Maris had served as an advisor to Parnpree. 

“The direction is still there from the prime minister…[of Thailand] to be this kind of facilitator, mediator for the way forward in Myanmar. That objective is still there but the mechanics, they will have a lot to make up for,” said Thai political analyst and Chulalongkorn University professor Thitinan Pongsudhirak.

News by Region

Residents of Kawkareik in Karen State hide in a cave during intense fighting in the town. (Credit: CJ)

KAREN—The Burma Army ordered all Kawkareik Township administration offices to resume operations on May 1. It asked all residents to return to their homes on April 27 after the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) withdrew its forces from the town.  

“They told us to come back but I’m afraid we will get trapped between the two armed forces. Many people returned for a while to check the situation but left again afterward,” said a Kawkareik resident who was displaced from their home. Fighting between the Burma Army and the KNLA in Kawkareik intensified on April 12.  

ARAKAN—Residents of Thandwe Township  are facing shortages of medicine and basic food items as the Burma Army has blocked access to supplies since fighting between it and the Arakan Army (AA) intensified on April 24. “The prices of medicines have tripled or quadrupled,” said a Thandwe resident. 

Residents accused the Burma Army of seizing shipments of food and medicine arriving via airplane and threatened to prosecute pharmacists if they supplied anything to the AA. Nearly 10,000 villagers in the township have been displaced from their homes and are in need of urgent food aid. 

CHINLAND—Chin resistance forces, the PDF, along with the AA, took control of Kyindwe, a town located at the cross section near Kanpetlet Township, Arakan State and Magway Region, on Monday.

“Resistance forces are now clearing the whole town,” said a spokesperson from a group calling itself the Chin National Council Mindat. Resistance forces claimed that 300 airstrikes have been carried out on them since they launched an attack to seize the town on Dec. 24. 

KARENNI—The Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) stated that it has finished providing military training to more than 500 new recruits on Tuesday. KNDF military chief Khu Reedu said the number of new recruits was up to three times higher than before the regime activated its conscription law on Feb. 10.

“We recently established a new strategic camp for those trainees to serve at,” said Khu Reedu. KNDF Deputy Commander-in-Chief Maui said that the number of new recruits joining resistance forces to fight against the military is steadily increasing.

Read this: Regime deputy Soe Win back to work after brief hiatus. DVB English News is on X, FB, IG, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe on YouTube. Follow our podcast on YouTube Music.

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