September 12, 2023

Father of prominent political activist arrested in Yangon

Myanmar Now

Former ABFSU chair Kyaw Ko Ko, whose father was detained on Sunday, has been wanted by the regime since March 2021

Sa Tun AungSeptember 11, 2023

Myanmar’s military regime has arrested a Yangon resident for the apparent crime of being the father of a prominent anti-junta activist.

Retired schoolteacher Kyaw Aye, 68, has been in police custody since he was taken from his home in Tamwe Township early Sunday morning, members of his family told Myanmar Now.

It has since been confirmed that he is being held for incitement under Section 505a of the Penal Code—a charge frequently deployed against critics of the regime.

Kyaw Aye is the father of Rahul Kyaw Kyaw Maung, a veteran activist better known as Kyaw Ko Ko.

Kyaw Ko Ko, 42, is a former chair of the ABFSU, or All Burma Federation of Student Unions, who was imprisoned in the past for his involvement in the 2007 Saffron Revolution and other efforts to end military rule in Myanmar.

Following the overthrow of the country’s elected civilian government in February 2021, he joined the armed resistance movement. His current whereabouts are unknown.

His father’s arrest on Sunday was not unexpected, as there had been calls for the regime to take action against him on pro-junta Telegram channels.

According to a relative, Kyaw Aye decided against fleeing because he knew that it would only increase pressure on the rest of his family.

“He decided not to go anywhere because the military would have arrested another family member even if he managed to evade,” the relative said.

Kyaw Ko Ko has been wanted by the junta since he escaped arrest following a crackdown on anti-coup protests in Yangon in March 2021.

A month later, three of his friends, including his girlfriend, Su Zarli Shein, were arrested while travelling from Yangon to Loikaw in Karenni (Kayah) State.

“They arrested her because they couldn’t find me and arrest me,” he said at the time.

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