Among those detained are two teachers accused of taking part in an online education program run by the NUG
Sources in Mandalay say that a number of people, including two teachers accused of working with Myanmar’s shadow National Unity Government (NUG), have been arrested in the city in recent weeks.
The teachers were both detained on July 27 during raids on their homes in in Mandalay’s Maha Aungmyay and Chanmyathazi townships, according to a person familiar with the situation.
“It’s true that they were arrested, but that’s all we know. We haven’t heard from them since they were taken into custody,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The source confirmed that the two teachers—one male and one female—were taking part in the Civil Disobedience Movement against military rule.
It’s believed that they were also suspected of teaching for an online education program under the NUG’s management, he added, noting that computers, mobile phones, and other items were confiscated during the raids.
Meanwhile, more arrests were made in Mandalay this week, including one on Tuesday involving a man who was picked up on 62nd Street and three more on Thursday at a teashop on 82nd Street.
According to sources, the military has been using the phone of the man arrested on Tuesday to try to contact others suspected of engaging in anti-regime activities.
Witnesses said that the arrests on Thursday were made by a group of police riding in civilian vehicles who used photographs to identify the suspects—two men and a woman, all in their 20s.
Residents of Mandalay say that arrests have been more frequent in the city since July 1, when a local urban guerrilla group called No More Dictatorship fired a handmade mortar at Mandalay Palace.
At least three arrests were made later the same day in connection with that incident, including one person who was just a bystander, sources told Myanmar Now.
There were also reports of arrests made at the Mya Bayet Monastery in Amarapura, just outside of Mandalay, on the same day. However, no further details were available.
The regime has not released any statement about recent arrests in Mandalay.
According to the latest data compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, there are currently 19,687 political prisoners being held in Myanmar’s detention centres.
Earlier this week, the junta released around 7,000 prisoners as part of an amnesty to mark a Buddhist holiday. However, few of those released were serving sentences for political offences.